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Scorpionflies Feeding On Carcasses

You can recognize a Scorpionfly (Order Mecoptera) by its long head which bears mouthparts at the end of a long beak. Its common name comes from the tail of one family of scorpionflies in which the male scorpionfly has prominent genitalia that are curled back up over the insect’s body (much like a scorpion).  They are, however, harmless.   Scorpionflies feed only on dead insects and have been known to raid spider webs for their meal.

Males with insect carcasses are said to acquire receptive females with relative ease.  Lacking a carcass, males have been known to throw up and use the spittle as a lure for females who feed on it while copulating with the male. (Photo:  Scorpionfly drinking innards of dead caterpillar)

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7 responses

  1. Alice

    Very interesting, but I’m not interested in copying any of that behavior. 🤮

    July 27, 2020 at 8:13 am

  2. Karen Burns

    Wow. What a charmer. Yuck!

    Karen J Burns


    July 27, 2020 at 8:15 am

  3. Looks like a brassica leaf. So good to have you back Mary!!

    July 27, 2020 at 8:37 am

  4. Interesting! Always leave it to an insect to have something unusual about it’s habitus! btw Mary, have you had any encounters with the Murder Wasp in any fashion?! Great information on the show on Sunday Morning about them! A mans entire colony was wiped out much to his dismay one morning! Fortunately not all his hives were attacked! 🙂 ❤

    July 27, 2020 at 8:41 am

    • I am woefully ignorant about the wasps! Must educate myself!

      July 27, 2020 at 9:06 pm

  5. My goodness. What will they think of next?
    So good to have you back in my Inbox, Mary, adding wonder and delight and curiosity to my day! Such a nourishing ingredient… Thank you, thank you!

    July 27, 2020 at 9:22 am

    • Thank you so much, Dell! Good to be back!

      July 27, 2020 at 9:07 pm

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