More winter insects

Continuing the theme of “ok, some insects do come out during the winter”, a couple weeks ago our lab conducted our yearly boreid hunt. Once again, we achieved success!

Boreids are the winter scorpionflies, in the family Boreidae. They are primarily found as adults in late winter/early spring, when snow is still on the ground but the weather is warming up. They are uncommon in collections because not too many people go hunting for them.

We have experimented with various techniques for finding them. We have seen them jumping from moss at the base of trees onto the snow where they become visible. So we went outside and started looking at trees…


The boreids were elusive at first, despite the perfect conditions. We scraped bark and moss, dug through leaf litter, and scanned the snow around (almost) every tree in the area.


We kept getting distracted by other little creatures, the winter stoneflies, family Capniidae. They hurried to and fro across the snow, I wonder what they were looking for?


Finally – the prize!


A cute little female winter scorpionfly.


Piotr Naskrecki has also found some boreids in his neck of the woods, check out his blog to see much better photos than mine.

Posted on March 13, 2013, in Invertebrates, Mecoptera and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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