Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A predator and its kill - in miniature

Not a lion with a gazelle but what I think must be a Scorpion Fly and an ex-hoverfly of some description. The tail end certainly looks scorpion-like though I don't think it is a sting. In one of the pictures you can see the long head which the Collins insect book says is typical of these flies. Does anyone know the species? - there is nothing in the book with a greenish body. I have other photos which show the wings more clearly.
PS We saw a Polecat from the back garden about 10 days ago - the first one we have seen here at Orlandon Kilns though they are often seen around Mullock Bridge.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rose,
    It is indeed a Scorpion Fly, a male. Only the males have the scorpion like tail, which is their genital capsule. 3 Species are possible and it is the variation that lies on the ventral surface of the genital capsule that helps separate them (not possible from these photos). Panorpa communis is the most commonly occurring Scorpion Fly, however, both P. germanica and P. cognata have both been recorded in the Pembrokeshire area. P. germanica is the most likely alternative to P. communis (my money is on this species).
    The interesting thing about the photo is that Scorpion Flies generally feed on decaying matter so it is most likely that the hoverfly was already dead?
    I'm fairly envious of your Polecat (and Weasel) sightings in the garden, I have have high hopes that one day....
    A male Sparrowhawk is the most noticeable predator at my end, no doubt he's in for the winter, intent on terrorising the finches!
    Best wishes, and say hi to Peter from me.