Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect


Can you please identify this insect?  The photo was taken July 20, 2014 in Mahoning County in Ohio at 10PM.  The insect is on the sheet I had set up with a black light. Thank you.

Hi, Leslie:

Thank you for including the image with your question.  The creature is a "hangingfly," a type of scorpionfly in the order Mecoptera.

This one is the species Hylobittacus apicalis , a usually day-active species.  Here's more about it:


You might want to register on Bugguide.net (for free), and add your very clear image to the species page there.

Hangingflies are predatory, and it looks like this one has a victim in the prehensile claw of its left rear leg.  These insects are amazing in the way they manipulate a victim to their beak-like mouth, all the while dangling from their front legs.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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