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Scorpion Fly

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Scorpion Fly (Selection of Male & Female)

Panorpa communis

This slim insect, about 20mm long with a 30mm wingspan, is one of the more easily recognised insects. There is not much to confuse it with in the UK, there being only one other species , P. cognata (smaller and paler) which has a very localised distribution in Britain. Several other Panorpa species are to be found in Europe.

With four wings (not that you could tell from these images), none of them are true flies of the general order of Diptera, two winged flies. These all belong to the order, Insecta: Mecoptera: Panorpidae.
The male (upper image) is characterised by the way in which the last segments of the abdomen, the reddish brown clasping organs like minature earwig pincers, are reflexed up and forward - scorpion like. Although the female's abdomen (lower image) also curves upwards, it is not so pronounced as in the male.

The wings of both are transparent with black markings. The apparent colour difference in the two images is due solely to direct sunlight reflecting from the females wings.
The upper surface of the abdomen is banded black and cream, with black predominating in the female. The underside of the abdomen is an almost transluscent creamy grey.

This species is quite common and is to be found in hedgerows and wooded areas from Spring to Autumn.

While it will take small insects, it is also a scavenger of dead plant and animal matter. The larvae are caterpillar-like, with six thoracic legs but no prolegs and undergo complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, imago)

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 7D
Lens:150mm
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:7 Jul 2013 - 11:20 AM
Focal Length:150mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/2.8
Aperture:f/14.0
Shutter Speed:1/200sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Flash:On, Fired
White Balance:Auto
Title:Scorpion Fly
Username:Metro6R4 Metro6R4
Uploaded:31 Jul 2013 - 8:34 AM
Tags:Bug, Close-up / macro, Fly, Forest, Insect, Nature, Wildlife, Wings, Wood
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Votes:26
Variant - TestsVariant - Tests

Comments

JN_CHATELAIN_PHOTOGRAPHY
31 Jul 2013 - 8:44 AM

Interesting set.
JNC

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capto
capto e2 Member 21091 forum postscapto vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 8:57 AM

A fine set and great info.Smile

ivor

Last Modified By capto at 31 Jul 2013 - 8:57 AM

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richmowil
richmowil e2 Member 5241 forum postsrichmowil vcard England1 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 9:18 AM

Nice set of fine images!!

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mjparmy
mjparmy e2 Member 5mjparmy vcard United Kingdom
31 Jul 2013 - 9:27 AM

Nice macro, v4 the better of the 5 I think.

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NDODS
NDODS e2 Member 33160 forum postsNDODS vcard United Kingdom102 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 10:09 AM

Five stunning image depicting this wonderful pair of Scorpion Flys. For me image number four will take some beating.

Regards Nathan

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ali63
ali63 e2 Member 2474 forum postsali63 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 11:17 AM

A great set of images,

Ali

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AlexAppleby
31 Jul 2013 - 11:40 AM

I agree that image 4 is outstanding.

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footloose
footloose  3 England1 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 5:15 PM

Great work Paul,that flash works a treat!
Dennis

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pluckyfilly
pluckyfilly e2 Member 8283 forum postspluckyfilly vcard United Kingdom33 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 8:45 PM

Strange looking critter but superb detail and write up

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