Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hangingflies and Allies)

Mecoptera have 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 which 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

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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

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