Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I happened upon an interesting insect that I hadn’t seen before- a scorpionfly (Panorpa nuptialis). These actually are not true flies because of their two pair of wings (flies have only one pair). There are 350 species worldwide, 66 of those are found in North America and they feed on pollen, nectar and also on any dead insects it may come upon. Its flight was very slow and of short duration, which made for an easy capture. This particular scorpionfly is a female, whereas the male is different in that its tail resembles that of a scorpion, hence the name. Though it looks like it has the weaponry of a scorpion it is harmless.One other identifying characteristic is its long snout giving it a sort of comical look. When a male begins courting a female he does so by vibrating his wings and then offers up a gift……one that consists of a wad of spit. Yep that’s right…spit, which she then eats (ugh!). A very interesting bug to say the least.


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