Panorpa rufa  Gray, 1832


Diagnosis:  This is one of four North American species of Panorpa that have males with elongate 7th and 8th abdominal segments; very short hypovalves; dististyles with very little curvature; and 9th tergites that taper to a rounded apex.  Females of this group have no posterior projections from the genital plate.  This species has an elongate genital bulb with dististyles 4.8 times longer than wide and short dististyles that are less than half as long as basistyles.


Distribution – Geographical:  This species is known from 18 localities from southern North Carolina south to northern Florida, and westward to eastern Mississippi.  Although widely distributed, it is seldom collected.


Distribution – Temporal:  from mid-October to 20 December (Byers, 1993) with one record from Southern Pines, North Carolina on 10 May (Carpenter, 1931).


Ecology:  This species is found on sandy-loam soil with a sparse cover of longleaf or loblolly pine woods, or a pine and oak mixed forest.  Byers (1993) has suggested that P. rufa may be active late in the afternoon close to the ground, and orient vertically on narrow-stemed vegetation.


Biology:  Nothing is known of immature stages.


Notes:  The name rufa, meaning red, probably refers to the body coloration.




Byers, G.W. 1993. Autumnal Mecoptera of southeastern United States. University of Kansas Science Bulletin,  55(2):57-96.


Carpenter, F.M. 1931. Revision of the Nearctic Mecoptera. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 72:205-277


Gray, G.R. 1832. New species of Insects of all the Orders, in, E. Griffith, ed., The Animal Kingdom arranged in Conformity with its Organization by the Baron Cuvier. Volumes 14 (570 pp.) and 15 (769 pp.).



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