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Scorpion-Fly

SCORPION-FLY, the popular name given to insects of the family Panorpidae, deriving the name from the fact that in the typical genus, Panorpa, the last two or three segments of the abdomen are narrow and can be flexed over the back like a scorpion's tail. The scorpion-flies are remarkable for the elongation of the oral region of the head into a prominent beak. The larva is grub-like, beset with spines and generally furnished with eight pairs of abdominal pro-legs in addition to the legs on the thorax, which are short. They live in the soil or in rotten wood and are carnivorous. The species of the genus Biltacus are superficially strikingly similar to the Tipulidae or " daddy- longlegs "; while those referred to, Boreus, are anomalous in being apterous and like small grasshoppers. They have usually been included in the order Neuroptera, but it is now generally considered that they should form a distinct order, which is termed Panorpata or Mecaptera.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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