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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

785-532-6154
785-532-6232 fax
entomology@ksu.edu

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Order Mecoptera

COMMON NAME: SCORPIONFLIES

The scorpionflies are small to medium-sized insects with four long, narrow wings and long antennae. They have chewing mouthparts located at the end of a broad, flat snout, which is two or three times as long as the head is wide. Metamorphosis is complete, the life stages being the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Scorpionflies are harmless, but they are so named because some of the males have the end of the abdomen enlarged so it looks like the stinger of a scorpion. These insects are found resting on plants that grow along the banks of streams and in damp woods. The larvae are caterpillar-like and live in damp soil. The adults feed on insects, usually after they are dead, although certain species do capture live insects. The adults are sometimes attracted to lights.

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Examples

Family Panorpidae

Panorpa anomala (Carpenter)

Size: 1/2" (12 mm)

Habitat: Commonly found on low broad-leaf plants at the edges of woods.

Family Panorpidae

Panorpa nuptialis Gerstaecker

Size: 3/4" (19 mm)

Habitat: Commonly found on low broad-leaf plants at the edges of woods.

**most of the images included in these pages are from the 'Insects in Kansas' Book. They are freely available for student and noncommercial use (according to their copyright agreement with each photographer) at the PDIS image site, http://www.pdis.org/default.aspx

For additional information on Mecoptera, please check out the following websites: