Panorpa banksiana Penny & Byers, 1979
Diagnosis: This is one of four species of the dissimilis group that has one dark basal spot along the costal margin of the forewing; rather broad hypovalves that are shorter than the basistyles; and ventral parameres that are long, unbranched, with long bristles all along the mesal surface. The ventral parameres of Panorpa banksiana have only the tips curved and crossed.
Distribution – Geographical: This species is only known from North Carolina. Byers (1973) records, with some doubt, a single female from New Jersey.
Distribution – Temporal: May to middle of June and late August to late October (Carpenter, 1931).
Ecology: In the Raleigh, NC, area this species can be found on understory vegetation of rather steep slopes of thick forest at the edge of cultivated fields.
Biology: Nothing is known of immature stages or life history.
Notes: This species was originally described as Panorpa interrupta by Banks in 1918. Unfortunately, this name is preoccupied by Aulops interrupta Navás, 1913, a Japanese species which later was transferred to Panorpa and synonymized with Panorpa japonica Thunberg, 1784. As the Japanese species name has priority, a new name was needed for the American species. So, the new name that was given to this species is named for Nathan Banks of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, who originally recognized the unique characters of this species.
This species differs from P. dissimilis and P. palustris by the curved shape of the ventral parameres, and from P. gracilis by not having the ventral parameres sharply bent at a right angle, but being moderately curved with only the apices crossing.
Banks, N. 1918. New neuropteroid insects. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 62:1-22. 2 plates with 26 figures.
Byers, G.W. 1973b. Descriptions and distributional records of American Mecoptera. III. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 46:362-375.
Carpenter, F.M. 1931. Revision of the Nearctic Mecoptera. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 72:205-277.
Navás, L. 1913. Nevropteres du Japon recueillis par M. Edme Gallois. Bulletin du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 19:441-451, 4 figures.
Penny, N.D. and G.W. Byers. 1979. A check-list of the Mecoptera of the World. Acta Amazonica, 9(2):365-388.
Thunberg, C.P. 1784. Dissertation entomologicae novas insectorum species, sistens, cejus partem qvartam,... praeses Carol. P. Thunberg, ... et respondens Carolus P. Engstrom. Upsaliae. Mantis, pp. 60-63, 1 pl. w/18 fig.