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scorpionfly

[skawr-pee-uh n-flahy] /ˈskɔr pi ənˌflaɪ/
noun, plural scorpionflies.
1.
any of several harmless insects of the order Mecoptera, the male of certain species having a reproductive structure that resembles the sting of a scorpion.
Also, scorpion fly.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; scorpion + fly2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for scorpion-fly

scorpionfly

(order Mecoptera), any of several species of insects characterized by chewing mouthparts at the tip of an elongated beak; long, many-segmented, threadlike antennae; and two pairs of membranous, net-veined wings that may be transparent, darkly spotted, or banded. The larva resembles a caterpillar; pupation occurs in the soil. Both larva and adult feed on dead animals, especially insects, and sometimes on plants.

Learn more about scorpionfly with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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