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high magnification elongated scorpionfly head

The elongated head of a scorpionfly is quite distinctive, though they get their name from clasper at the end of the male’s abdomen, which looks like a scorpion’s stinger (though is completely harmless).

So  I made another excursion yesterday, albeit a short one, in search of snow scorpionflies, but I didn’t find anything; it was above freezing but not by much and the snow was very hard on top. My understanding is that those aren’t the most ideal conditions for snow scorpionflies to be out. Thursday it will be getting warmer so hopefully thaws out some, and I have a little luck.

In the meanwhile, here is a scorpionfly portrait. Like their snowy namesake, they have a distinctly elongated head; I am guessing this is one of the main reasons they were thought to be related, at least initially. Now apparently they are being considered as possibly more closely-related to fleas, insects of an entirely different Order. It should be noted, scorpionflies, snow or otherwise, are completely harmless to humans.


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