Boreus insulanus  Blades, 2002


Diagnosis:  Body coloration dark brown to black with a greenish sheen; length: female, pinned = 5.0 mm; male, in alcohol = 3.9 – 6.6 mm; female, in alcohol = 5.4  - 6.0 mm.  Ratio of length of maxilla-labial complex to rostrum = .85 to .97.  Pronotum with two anterior and three posterior bristles on either side.  Females with two medial bristles on meso- and metanota; absent in males.  Apicofemoral spine present.  Male forewing abruptly tapered at mid-length, with 17 to 26 mesal spines and 17 to 24 lateral spines.  Hindwing with 7 to 12 small, stout spines at mid-length.  Female forewing oval, without bristles, covering hindwing.  Abdomen covered with short pilosity.  Male 8th tergum and sternum unfused; 9th tergum and sternum also unfused.  Hood of 9th tergum about half width of tergum; with medial septum; without medial ridge.  Male 9th sternum with shallow, but distinct, apicomedial notch.


Distribution – Geographical:  Known only from the southern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.


Distribution – Temporal:  Adults have been collected in pitfall traps from November until 27 April along the island’s interior mountain range from 300 to 1500 m elevation.


Ecology:  Adults appear to live in terrestrial mosses.


Biology:  Nothing is known of immature stages or life cycle.


Notes:  This species is part of the brumalis subgroup of the nivoriundus species group having bristles on the thorax, unfused male 8th and 9th terga and sterna, and a male notched 9th sternum.  Other species of this subgroup have long, white pilosity (B. nix and B. pilosus), a short maxilla-labial complex  and evenly tapered male forewings (B. bomari).  Boreus insulanus appears to be most closely related to B. brumalis from eastern North America, but has more lateral forewing spines and more hindwing spines, as well as small, white, appressed pilosity on the head and thorax.


The name insulanus comes from the Latin word for islander and refers to the geographical distribution of this species, being known only from Vancouver Island.




Blades, David C.A.  2002.  A new species of Boreus (Mecoptera: Boreidae) from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia  99:133-139.



A Bibliography of Mecoptera


A World Catalog of Mecoptera

The Mecoptera of Taiwan

The Mecoptera of North America


The Mecoptera of Chile


The Mecoptera of Mexico (in progress)


The Mecoptera of Gaoligongshan, Yunnan, China (in progress)


  • Norm Penny
  • Collections Manager
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5320 (direct)