Panorpa appalachia Byers, 2002
Diagnosis: This is one of four species of Panorpa in the debilis group that are unified by the presence of unusually long, thin aedeagal hamuli as part of the male genitalia. This group has forewings with entire apical and pterostigmal bands and no basal spots along the costal margin. Males of the Panorpa debilis group have a series of stout bristles on a small lobe at the apex of the basistyles. The male ventral parameres of P. appalachia are subapically greatly expanded then apically tapered to a point, and extend to the end of the basal lobe of the dististyles.
Distribution – Geographical: P. appalachia is known from two male specimens from Haywood and Swain Counties, North Carolina.
Distribution – Temporal: 5 July.
Ecology: the general area appears to be one of broadleaf, deciduous trees among rolling hills in the lower elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains..
Biology: Nothing is known of the immature stages or life history of this species.
Notes: There are currently considered to be four closely-related species in this species group (P. appalachia, P. bichai, P. debilis, and P setifera). The other species in this group may be considered to be distinctive isolated populations of P. debilis. Panorpa setifera is known from a several populations along the Wisconsin River at the western edge of the range of P. debilis. It differs from other populations of P. debilis in the much longer setae on the shorter ventral parameres (Webb, 1975). Panorpa bichai also appears very similar to P. debilis and is found in a relatively small area of Tennessee and central Indiana near the southwestern edge of the distribution of that species (Byers, 2002). It varies from P. debilis in that the ventral parameres are more bowed outward at mid-length and extend further – half the length of the dististyles (Byers, 1993). It differs from P. debilis in that the ventral parameres are much broader subapically and the tines of the aedeagal hamulus are longer and thinner (Byers, 2002).
Byers, G.W. 1993. Autumnal Mecoptera of southeastern United States. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(2):57-96.
-----. 2002. A new Appalachian scorpionfly (Mecoptera: Panorpidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 75(3):185-187.