Scorpion Fly

A couple of hours in our Fairlight garden yesterday morning revealed lots of interesting and photogenic insects enjoying the hot sunshine-enough for several WH postings.

Amongst these was an obliging Scorpion Fly resting on a palm and allowing very close approach with the camera. These are common and easy to find- try Brakey Bank in the Country Park-and quite spectacular when you can see them well.

The pictures show the upcurved end to the abdomen [the males have this] which gives them their name, and also the pointed “beak”. Despite this fearsome looking equipment they are quite harmless to humans and live mainly on dead insects.

There are four British species, distinguished by the shape of “callipers” on the genital capsule-the scorpion tail end. These callipers can be seen on the top of the insect as the “tail” curves over,  but even these close shots cannot reveal this detail.

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