The insect pictured below is Harpobittacus australis, a species of scorpion fly. The creature isn’t just having some quiet down time appreciating the beauty of the Yam Daisy. It’s hard at work. The Project Noah website says of it:
‘Their method of hunting is impressive. They put their ‘hooks’ onto some grasses or twigs and hang in a vacant space waiting for some arthropod to fly through or land nearby. While still hooked with the front legs they then catch the prey with one of their hind pairs of legs, manipulating it and stabbing it with mouth parts, injecting digestive enzymes. The prey is rendered motionless within 30 seconds and ends up looking wet. Bittacidae are also known for strange mating rituals. Females choose mates based on the quality of a gift of prey brought by various males.’
A correspondent to Project Noah on this subject exclaimed, ‘What a way to make a living…’ but it’s not hard to find familiar themes in the above info.
Just to confuse the observer a little, Scorpion Flies aren’t really flies. Oh, and they’re not scorpions, either, obviously.