Panorpa sp. cf. Panorpa helena (Mecoptera: Panorpidae).
Goose Creek Bridge, Loudoun County, VA
29 May 2013
A male Scorpionfly.
Observed near the Trinity River.
Taken during Earth Native Wilderness School's tracking class.
Mecoptera (from the Greek: meco- = "long", -ptera = "wings") are an order of insects with about 550 species in nine families worldwide. Mecoptera are sometimes called scorpionflies after their largest family, Panorpidae, in which the males have enlarged genitals that look similar to the stinger of a scorpion. The Bittacidae, or hangingflies, are a prominent family of elongate insects known for their elaborate mating rituals, in which females choose mates based on the quality of...