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Scorpion Flies

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A male Scorpion Fly

Scorpion flies belong to an ancient group of insects known as 'Mecopterans' which can be traced back more than 250 million years.  The name Scorpion Fly comes from the shape of the males enlarged, bulbous genitalia, carried curled above the body.  Although it resembles the tail of a scorpion, it cannot sting (or bite).  The structure is used only for reproduction.



Scorpion Fly raiding a spiders web

You'll often find them between April and July in hedgerows and among nettle beds or brambles.  They like to rest on the surface of leaves, especially in dense shade.  They are easily disturbed, but their their flight is quite weak, and usually brief.

Scorpion flies have tiny jaws situated at the end of a beak-like projection called a 'rostrum'.  They feed during the daytime: mostly on dead animals which they often bravely steal from spiders' webs.



More info at: UK Safari Scorpion Flies Fact File



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