Tag Archives: Scorpion Fly

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Hi, I have had a very frustrating morning chasing a single butterfly around a large field and not catching it. Now I need a sit down before I take Fizz out.

I thought that I could show you some pictures of a Scorpion Fly. These are old pictures, I didn’t take any photos this morning because I couldn’t get close to my target and I didn’t take pictures of anything else because I was obsessed and now I will have to go back tomorrow.

People sometimes leave nice comments saying that my pictures are beautiful and I appreciate that but I do know that it is not the picture it is the animal that is so strikingly beautiful, seeing it up close can take you aback.

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about.

Scorpion FlyThis is a Scorpion Fly, Panorpa spp. (spp means “species” and when you see that it means we don’t know which species it is) there are three species of Scorpion Fly in the UK and to separate them you have to examine their genitals under a microscope, which shouldn’t be that difficult because that big Scorpion like sting is actually his genitalia but I didn’t have a microscope on me.

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion FlyPerhaps he is not a classical beauty and you might be thinking, “Who could possibly love something that looks like that, apart from Colin of course?”

The answer is, someone who looks like this.

Scorpion FlyThis is a female Scorpion Fly and she doesn’t have the big wotsit stingy thing but she is the more formidable of the pair.

Neither fly has a sting or offers any harm to humans, they eat mostly dead insects that they either find or steal from Spider’s webs.

However the female will sometimes kill the male after mating.

Most websites will tell you this, “to avoid being killed the male will offer the female a gift, in the run up to mating, of a large glob of spittle.”

Personally I think that is half the problem, spit is not a popular gift idea and that is more likely the reason why she tries to kill him.

Scorpion Fly

Scorpion FlySo there we have it another adorable Diptera species the Scorpion Fly.


Scorpion Fly

FemaleScorpion Fly



There is an unused field behind the farm that is poorly drained and quite marshy. I thought that it would be a good place to survey for reptiles.

1So I have got the permission from the field’s owner and I have borrowed some corrugated iron from my landlord and off we go.

2First I had a good look around the field trying to decide the best place to put my tins. I don’t really know what I am doing, I just think that it’s worth a try. I didn’t find any reptiles today but it was a miserable overcast morning and it would be very difficult to find anything in the long grass.

I found lots of food.

3 4 5 6 7I also found a spectacular Marsh Thistle, it is not every day you find one of those.

Marsh Thistle Marsh Thistle Marsh Thistle Marsh ThistleI hauled my first sheet of iron up from the farm. (surprisingly awkward to carry)

8Then I walked all around the field again trying to guess where a good spot would be.


17 18 19Then I decided to just slap it down anywhere. I chose a fairly damp spot close to the stream that would get the morning sun.

10 11Will it work? I don’t know. My landlord tells me that he used to see Adders here but that he hasn’t seen any for a long time and lots of what he calls Blind Worms, he described them to me as little snakes and I think he is talking about what I know as a Slow worm.

So now I have more tin to go and get.

12And that is the start of my Reptile Survey Project.