Scorpion Fly, Oh, Fly

Scorpion Fly

Our featured insect is a scorpion fly from the Genus Panorpa. For the uninitiated: the males have claspers at the end of the abdomen which resemble a scorpion’s tail. Fear not they don’t sting with said-claspers; they embrace females (like the ones in the photos; two separate individuals shown) with them. On an unrelated note, their heads remind me of horse heads (preemptive moratorium on Godfather jokes/references).

I have found these bugs difficult to photograph. The first photo is sort of a fantastic lie: the scorpion fly at rest, surveying a vague world, a blurry void. It flew off quite quickly, giving barely enough time for the shot. The individual in the shots below was slightly less inclined to fly out of sight, but moved constantly. Unwilling to punch me in the face (figuratively speaking)…for a little while anyway (i.e. it flew off, too). But I’ll take what I can get. The leaves are falling; we’ll all be flying soon.

P.S. Be sure to scroll down to the small thumbnails at the bottom of the post and click on them; it will activate WordPress’s “Photo Carousel,” a very cool, lightbox effect/feature that allows you to see larger versions of the photos!

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion Fly

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