I was sitting in my garden in north London last Sunday and saw an unusual insect that fascinated me but cannot find. When I described it to colleagues they thought I was mad and making it up so please help.

It had an ant-like body but had large 'mouse-like shaped ears. The 'ears' were like wings. Transparent but with black dots, and it had a red nose. It would crawl a bit then move these ear-like wings up and down in a really smooth, almost scanning like motion. I'd say it was about 1cm in length maybe a bit longer. It was the movement of the wings/ears that was most fascinating. Seemed almost clockwork in its movement.

Many thanks
Catherine

Hi Catherine,

your description is a little confusing. When you say

mouse-like shaped ears. The 'ears' were like wings

do you mean that it had wings that looked like mouse ears? Or perhaps antennae like wings? The confusion comes from insects not having ears. Or noses.

The only insect I can think of that comes even close to this would be a scorpionfly (at least it has transparent wings with black spots and a red 'nose'). Here is one:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/Scorpionfly_March_2008-1.jpg

(Photo by Joaquim Alves Gaspar)

Perhaps you could provide a more detailed description?

Catherine's reply:

Thanks for getting back Paolo. No this is not the insect and sorry for the confusion as i mean wings or antannae shaped like ears. I think the mouse reference is confusing as it was just that they looked liked big ears – even rabbit ears.
Did have a red nose in the sense of its head, maybe, was red. It was a small red circle.
This does sound really confusing and thanks for getting back to me. If I spot it again I will take a picture of it.
Thanks
Catherine