Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hangingflies and Allies)

There are five families in this order — Panorpidae, Bittacidae, Boreidae, Panorpodidae, and Meropeidae – and about 500 species.  Mecoptera comes from the Greek words “meco” meaning long and “ptera” meaning wings, refers to the shape of both the front and hind wings. This order is usually found in wooded areas. They eat plants, mosses, insects, and decaying matter.

Bittacidae (Hangingflies)
Their common name is derived because they hang on the underside of leaves, waiting for their prey. Their hind legs are used for catching the prey, which they then suck out their insides.

Bittacus strigosus

Check out BugGuide for more info on Hangingflies

Panorpidae (Common Scorpionflies)
This insect gets his common name from his habit of curling his tail up like a scorpion; the difference is the tail of a Scorpionfly is harmless! They will feed on insects that are caught in spider webs.

Panorpa helenae

Check out BugGuide for more info on Scorpionflies