Scorpionfly: The Insect With A Clasper

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None of us are fans of flies, let alone a fly that looks like that. A scorpionfly is a unique-looking insect that looks like no other flies out there. This is why we are going to discuss some more about this weird bug today. Does it sting? Is it dangerous? Let’s find out more below and let me know what you think.

1Appearance

A scorpionfly is a small insect with a size of 0.2 to 3.5 centimeters, and the tail-like body part is the most distinctive feature. Scorpionfly got its name from the males’ large genitals raised over the body that resembles a scorpion stinger. Then you know, they are not dangerous because they cannot use their genitals to harm humans. A scorpionfly has a reddish head with a long beak and dark patches on the wings. The overall color of this insect is black and yellow, and the stinger-like genitalia is black and orange in color. Despite the appearance and name, scorpionflies are more related to the flea family instead of flies. On top of that, they play an important role in pollinating which is very helpful for the ecology.

2Behavior

Males emit pheromones to attract females, and some even prepare an edible gift like a dead insect to the mates. While the female evaluates the gift, the male will locate her genitalia with his. And if she stays to eat the gift, he will attach his genitalia to hers and the mating begins. Yes, the female eats while the male mates with her. The larger the gift prey, the longer the mating period. That is beneficial because that means more sperm transfer and a higher chance of more number of offspring. However, she may kill him if she does not like the gift so it is important for them to be careful.

3Feeding & Habitats

image: needpix

Adult and larvae scorpionflies are scavengers that feed on decaying vegetation and the soft bodies of dead invertebrates. Some species even raid spider webs to feed on trapped insects, and sometimes the spiders. These pollinators also consume nectar and pollen on top of carrion, midge larvae, and moss fragments. Scorpionflies inhabit moist environments such as leaf litter and moss but some species also live in semi-desert habitats. They live in broad-leaf woodlands, cultivated fields, farmlands, grasslands, heathland and moorland, and areas with plenty of damp leaf litter.

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