Panorpa scopulifera Byers, 1993
Diagnosis: This species belongs to the rufescens species group with only a single marginal spot along the costal margin at the base of the forewing; darkened crossveins in the apical half of the forewing; male hypovalves relatively long and thin, reaching to the end of the basistyles; basal lobe of the dististyles truncate apically and bearing a row of small, stout spines along the dorsal margin. This species belongs to the subgroup of species with long, stout spines at the apico-mesal margin of the basistyles. Panorpa scopulifera has hypovalves that do not quite reach the apex of the basistyles; they are bowed laterally and have long setae along their mesal margins. The male ventral parameres are short, only reaching about 2/3 the length of the basistyles and have a comb of stout bristles along the apical half.
Distribution – Geographical: This species is only known from the Piedmont region of northwestern South Carolina and northeastern Georgia.
Distribution – Temporal: This species appears to have two adult emergence periods per year: 27 until 29 May and 1 September until 5 October.
Ecology: Adults can be found in shaded forests primarily consisting of pines with scattered red gum, oaks, and hickory. The understory vegetation is dense clumps of honeysuckle with some brambles and Virginia creeper.
Biology: Nothing is known of immature stages or life history.
Notes: This species is very closely allied to Panorpa hispida and, in fact, may form regional morphs of the same species. Males of both species have thick spines at the apex of the basistyles; thin, arched hypovalves with long setae along the mesal margins; and both have ventral parameres with a comb of spines along the apical half. Panorpa hispida has longer ventral parameres that extend slightly beyond the base of the dististyles; and the female genital plate bears a triangular apical notch, rather than a quadrate notch in P. scopulifera.
The name scopulifera comes from the Latin words for “little brush” and “to bear”, referring to the short length of the ventral parameres of this species.
Byers, G.W. 1993. Autumnal Mecoptera of southeastern United States. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 55(2):57-96.