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More Bizarre Bugs ─ Creepy Crawlies No: #6: Scorpionfly

No, a scorpion and a wasp did not mate and produce a crossbred hybrid. Nature produced the genetic mutation all on its own, only that it is not a mutation per se but a true form. Sometimes, nature will confuse us. The scorpion-like “stinger” on the fly is harmless, actually it is the fly’s enlarged genitals. Only the males have this bulbous mating equipment but despite its lethal look, it is the male that is in danger during mating season.  After the tryst, the female might just decide to kill him.

It doesn’t sting. It is a lot less harmless.
It doesn’t sting. It is a lot less harmless.

Scorpionflies or Mecoptera are more closely related to fleas than to true flies although they resemble flies in appearance being small to medium-sized insects with long slender bodies and narrow membranous wings.

Most breed in moist environments such as leaf litter or moss, and the eggs may not hatch until the wet season arrives. Same goes for the pupa which may not metamorphosize until the weather gets wetter.

Scorpionflies can be found all over the world, and have been around since the Mesozoic age. In fact, they’re believed to have been the forerunners of most of our modern moths and butterflies, collectively grouped in the Lepidoptera order.

Adults of modern species, however, are overwhelmingly predators or consumers of dead organisms; they are the first insects to arrive at a cadaver, which makes them particularly useful in forensic entomology. (Featured image from pinterest).

 

It’s a lot less lethal than it looks. But the Scorpionfly is predatory although it won’t sting. (Pic from Bug Guide).
It’s a lot less lethal than it looks. But the Scorpionfly is predatory although it won’t sting. (Pic from Bug Guide).

 

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