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Mecoptera - scorpionflies

3/8 in.

Scorpionflies are small to medium-sized insects with four long, narrow wings and long antennae. They have chewing mouthparts at the end of a broad, flat snout that is two or three times as long as the head is wide. Metamorphosis is complete. Scorpionflies are so named because the end of the abdomen in some of the males is enlarged so it looks like the stinger of a scorpion. Regardless of their appearance, however, scorpionflies are harmless to people.

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 dead ones, although certain species capture live prey. The adults are sometimes attracted to lights.