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Panorpa germanica

Panorpa germanica is a common species in England and Wales. It feeds on rotting plants or fruit. Also insects which are already dead are eaten. Sometimes it can be found on plants sucking nectar. And all Scorpion Flies like honeydew, the sweet substance excreted by aphids. Panorpa germanica is a species found in lush places, often moving about in shrubs. It is not fond of sunshine.

Actually there are a few species of Scorpion Flies. They all look alike, but you can tell them apart by looking carefully. Males are less of a problem than females. Their scorpion tale actually are the genitals and these differ per species. Females however can not be told apart from looking at their tale, so we have to look at other aspects. In Holland four species are common. Panorpa cognata is the first and easy to tell apart, for it has a red head. The head is black in all other species. Panorpa germanica can be told apart, for it has no clear band on the wing. Panorpa communis and Panorpa vulgaris both have a clear black band running over the wing. So look at the first spot on the wing, looking from where the wing starts. The spot is usually quite small. But it is bigger in Panorpa vulgaris, completely spanning two cells in the wing. Panorpa communis has a smaller spot, which usually remains in one cell only. Sometimes it does run into the next cell, but it never fills up that second cell.