Panorpa maculosa Hagen, 1861
Diagnosis: This species is a member of the nebulosa group having speckled wings and no anal horn on the 6th abdominal tergite. It belongs to the subgroup that does not have a cluster of thick spines at the apico-medial corner of the basistyles, nor line of stout bristles along the mesal margin of the hypovalves. There are two species in this subgroup with an aedeagus that is elevated to a point between the bases of the dististyles, P. maculosa and P. submaculosa. The dististyles of male P. maculosa are evenly tapered to an apical point, and have an elongate basal lobe that extends between the basistyles.
Distribution – Geographical: This species is found from Massachusetts southward to Georgia and westward to Tennessee and Michigan. See notes below.
Distribution – Temporal: 19 May to 15 August with the peak emergence in June.
Ecology: “This species has been swept from tall herbage along a trail through a swampy woods of ash, oak, and yellow birch in Michigan” (Byers, 1954).
Biology: Nothing is known of immature stages or life cycle.
In 1937 Ashley Gurney described a new species of Panorpa collected by F.C. Harmston along the southern slopes of the Uintah Mountains of Utah. The type series was collected together with a specimen of Panorpa venosa (now P. helena). This is well outside the known distribution of Panorpa in North America. Frank Carpenter studied these specimens and came to the conclusion that “P. utahensis” was actually a composite of P. maculosa and P. submaculosa (Gurney, 1938). So, a total of three species were collected at this site. No further specimens of any of these species have been collected in these mountains. It would be easy to dismiss this as a case of mislabeled specimens, except that at least one other specimen has been found elsewhere in Utah (Shawn Clark, C. Riley Nelson, personal communication). The region contains some areas of high humidity, abundant understory vegetation, and rich, deep soil along stream bottoms. The highest peak in Utah, King’s Peak at 13,528 feet, is in this area and could serve as a refugia and source of moisture during hot, dry periods.
The name maculosa probably refers to the numerous small spots on the wings.
Byers, G.W. 1954. Notes on North American Mecoptera. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 47:484-510.
Gurney, A.B. 1937. A new Species of Panorpa from Utah, with Notes on other Nearctic Species (Mecoptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 39:222-227.
-----. 1938. Synonymy in the genus Panorpa (Mecoptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 40:52.
Hagen, H.A. 1861. Synopsis of the Neuroptera of North America, with a list of the South American species. Smithsonian miscellaneous Collections,4(1):xx, 1-347.