Panorpa confinis Byers, 1993
Diagnosis: This species is part of the rufescens species group that has one marginal spot along the base of the forewing costal margin, and shading along many of the distal crossveins; males with narrow hypovalves; and dististyles with a basal lobe that is apically truncate and bears a row of spines along the dorsal margin. The ventral parameres have lateral props to the inner wall of the basistyles. Panorpa confinis belongs to the subgroup with heavy, dark spines at the apex of the male basistyles. In this species the ventral parameres are short, with a comb of thick spines only along a broadened and membranous apex.
Distribution – Geographical: This species appears to be confined to a small area of west-central Alabama and east-central Mississippi.
Distribution – Temporal: There are two adult flight periods per year: one from 10 April until 24 June and a second one from 24 September until 16 November.
Ecology: Nothing is known of habitat preferences.
Biology: Nothing is known of immature stages or life history.
Notes: Panorpa confinis appears to be most closely related to P. ferruginea because of the shape of elements of the male genitalia. However, P. ferruginea lacks the thick, dark, spines at the apex of the basistyle, which is found in P. confinis. P. confinis also appears closely related to P. vernalis, but has a shorter, broader tipped, ventral paramere and the wing markings include a bolder, dark pattern, especially in the pterostigmal band.
This species takes its name from the Latin word for adjoining, adjacent, or neighboring and refers to the fact that the geographical distribution of this species is adjacent to that of Panorpa ferruginea which may also be its closest kin. In the original description Byers (Ibid.) expressed the view that P. ferruginea and P. confinis may only be geographical races of the same species.
Byers, G.W. 1993. Autumnal Mecoptera of southeastern United States. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(2):57-96.