Monday, December 1, 2014

Nature Notes: Scorpionfly

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These are photos from February, but I never got round to posting them. We discovered that huge maggots were living in Mr Ook's ficus tree pot and we left them there to see what would hatch. We had all but forgotten about them when one day, this gangly fellow popped up in out kitchen.

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It's a female scorpionfly (Mecoptera) and I believe she belongs to the Bittacidae family, also called Hangingflys or Hanging Scorpionflys. In any case, she will live on other insects and maybe pollen. Males will offer choice insects as a gift during mating to be accepted. I believe she is female because most male Scorpionflies have more or less elaborate appendages on their abdomen to grasp females during mating.

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They are not very elegant animals and fly just as badly as craneflies do (that body shape is probably not the most aerodynamic), but they sure look cool.

More Nature Notes at Rambling Woods