Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis).
Sunrise: 04.49 Sunset: 09.28
I am attracted to Scorpion Flies; I find them fascinating.
The Scorpion Fly is a strange and beautiful insect that is abundant in Hoo Wood at the moment, particularly amongst nettles and bramble. The long beak-like projection from its head is used for scavenging dead insects from tight spaces and stealing food from spider’s webs. Its name is derived from the scorpion-like tail that the male uses in courtship displays. Adults usually mate at night, but mating can be a dangerous game for the male, who might be killed by the female. To help reduce the potential of death in return for pleasure, he offers a nuptial gift of a dead insect or a mass of saliva to placate her – the equivalent of a box of chocolates! The resulting eggs are laid in the soil and the emerging larvae live and pupate at the soil surface.