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A large and dramatic looking, long-bodied insect with striking colours of black orange yellow. Incredibly long legs and tarsi with opposed reverse hooks. Maybe 60mm body length but the legs make the total size up to about 100mm.
Suburban back yard in mixed long grasses.
This family is also known as 'hanging flies and the members may be confused with crane flies which are in the order Diptera. They can be distinguished by their two pairs of wings and lack of halteres. Order - Mecoptera; Family - Bittacidae; Genus - Harpobittacus Species - australis. Another visible distinguishing feature is the pair of opposed, reversed hooks on the forelegs-tarsi. 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. http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/163... 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.