Bittacus strigosus Hagen, 1861
Diagnosis: This species has clear, transparent wings with dark shading of the crossveins. The male has enormous epiandrial lobes that are almost three times the size of the basistyles and almost envelop the proctiger and aedeagus, leaving only a narrow slit between lobes dorsally. No other North American species has such greatly expanded epiandrial lobes.
Distribution – Geographical: This species has the greatest geographical distribution of any North American species, and in many areas is the most common species in mid-summer. It is found from Vermont and New Hampshire south to Alabama and westward to Oklahoma and eastern Wyoming (Byers, 1996) and northward to Manitoba (Byers, 1958) and Montana (Byers, 1973).
Distribution – Temporal: Adults of this species can be found from late June to late September (in Texas), with a peak emergence in mid-summer.
Ecology: In the Midwest U.S. this species can be found in almost any moist, shaded area in mid-summer, from drainage ditches to major river bottoms to lake shores.
Biology: Setty (1940) reported in detail on the immature stages and growth rates of this species.
Notes: This is the most abundant species of bittacid in the U.S. and perhaps in the world. For instance, in mid-summer at Lawrence, Kansas, in the bottomlands along the Kansas River if a person walks among the stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) clouds of Bittacus strigosus rise by the hundreds ahead of the walker.
Byers, G.W.. 1958. Descriptions and distributional records of American Mecoptera. Journal of the KansasEntomological Society, 31:213-222.
-----. 1973. Descriptions and distributional records of American Mecoptera. III. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 46:362-375.
-----. 1996. Descriptions and Distributional Records of American Mecoptera. IV. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 55(14):519-547.
Hagen, H.A. 1861. Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonian miscellaneous Collections,4(1):xx, 1-347.
Setty, L.R. 1940. Biology and morphology of some North American Bittacidae (Order Mecoptera). American Midland Naturalist, 23:257-353.