Panorpa anomala Carpenter, 1931
Diagnosis: This is one of five species of North American Panorpa that form part of the anomala group. This group can be defined by the following characteristics: Forewings with three bands, the pterostigmal band branched posteriorly, but usually interrupted medially so that the apical branch appears to be an isolated spot, and the basal band also usually interrupted medially; two humeral spots along the basal margin; and most crossveins darkly margined. Anal horn present on the male 6th abdominal tergite. Male hypovalves short, only about half the length of the basistyles. Ventral parameres curved and joined at base, bearing an apical cluster of bristles. Inner margin of basistyles with a small tooth at mid-length. Basal lobe of dististyles disc shaped with slight expansion of dorsal margin. Panorpa anomala can be separated from other members of this group by the long medial branch of the ventral parameres that cross medially, and the indentation of the apico-medial portion of the basistyles that houses the tufted lateral branch of the ventral parameres.
Distribution – Geographical: This is primarily a Midwestern U.S.A. species, although its range extends southward to Louisiana and Mississippi. In the Midwest it is found from Michigan to eastern Kansas.
Distribution – Temporal: 21 May until 7 October. This species appears to have a bimodal emergence in June and September indicating the possibility of two generations per year.
Ecology: This species is found along moist river bottoms where stinging nettle, jewelweed, poison ivy, and brambles are abundant understory and maples are the dominant shade trees. It is often collected together with Panorpa helena.
Biology: This species has been reared by George W. Byers and 4th instar larvae described by Boese (1973).
Notes: The name anomala means different from the usual, and may refer to the medial branch of the male ventral parameres that are quite distinct from others of the group.
Boese, A.E. 1973. Descriptions of larvae and key to fourth instars of North American Panorpa (Mecoptera: Panorpidae). Kansas University Science Bulletin, 50:163-186.
Carpenter, F.M. 1931. Revision of the Nearctic Mecoptera. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 72:205-277.