The Scorpionflies are in their own order, Mecoptera, along with the hanging flies and the unusual earwigfly and snow flea. This is one of the Common Scorpionflies in the family Panorpidae. There are over fifty species (54 at Nearctica) and they are all in the genus Panorpa. They are named for the male terminal appendage which resembles a scorpion tail when extended (it is obscured here). These guys hang out near wood margins on low broad-leaved plants (where this one is). Most have banded or spotted wings. They feed mostly on dead insects including insects stolen from spider webs.

This shot shows the male tail much better. And thus the name. I think this is likely the same fall species as above taken at Camp Robinson, about five miles north of Bell. Just before this a male and female fly seemed to be signaling each other with slow wing rolls that flashed those very flashy wings.

Here is the female signal. She rolled the wings in a cycle of flaring up and back. The male responded with the same wing motion. And then they flew over together and did dirty, dangerous things. Until I scared them with my lens again.

A spring Scorpion with a much more patterned wing. Significantly smaller than the above fall species. Same long flashy antennae and beak.