Dave Kennard

Dave Kennard

Posted on 07/01/2010


Photo taken on June 23, 2010



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Keywords

Animals
Dave Kennard
Biota
Common scorpionfly
Panorpidae
Mecoptera
Insecta
Eukaryota
Arthropoda
Panorpa
Arthropods
Panorpa communis
scorpionfly
Vitae
Animalia
Insects
Life
Common
Scorpionflies


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Common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) female

Common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) female
A female Common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) hangs onto a rush.

From Wikipedia:

Panorpa communis or common scorpionfly is a species of scorpionfly native to Western Europe.

The common scorpionfly has a black and yellow body, with a reddish head and tail. The male has a pair of claspers at the end of its tail (for holding the female during mating), giving it a scorpion-like appearance, although it is not a stinger. The adult insect has a wingspan of about 35mm, with wings that are mostly clear, but have many dark spots or patches. Its head, mounted with large eyes, is drawn into a prominent, upward pointing beak, which opens at the tip of its head.

The larva resembles a caterpillar and grows up to 20.3mm long. it has three pairs of thoracic legs and eight pairs of prolegs. The adult is seen between May and September, and can be usually found in hedgerows and patches of nettle. They eat dead insects (although they sometimes eat live aphids), sometimes stealing them from spider webs.

Although fully winged, the adults rarely fly very far and spend much of their time crawling on vegetation in damp, shaded places near water and along hedgerows. Eggs are laid in soil annually and the larvae both scavenge and pupate there.

Larger version on my website: Common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) female

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