Image By Gail HampshireCC BY 2.0

A Mixture of Two Bad Bugs!

I'm sure we can all agree that flies are an irritating nuisance. And I'm sure you will agree you don't want to see a scorpion around any time soon, but what about a combination scorpion/fly? Well this is actually a real bug! It is called the Mecoptera.

 Mecopterans vary in length from 0.1 inches - 1.2 inches. Most types of Mecopterans live in very wet, humid environments, but there are some subspecies of this bug that live in the desert as well. One thing that these bugs are very useful for is forensic science, and determining when a person died. Mecopterans feed on the dead bodies of humans, other bugs, and animals. They are always the first type of bug to begin feasting on a dead human. Because of this, their presence is one way many scientists are able to track how long a body has been dead.

When Mecopterans begin looking for a mate, an interesting thing happens. The female begins to let off pheromones to let the males know she is looking for a mate. When this happens all of the males go off and try to find the biggest insect they can kill. This is one of the few times they will actually kill another bug. Once they kill a bug they will bring it back to her for her to judge. She will then choose which gift is her favorite, and then choose that male as her partner.