Panorpa speciosa Carpenter, 1931
Diagnosis: This is one of five species of North American Panorpa that form part of the anomala group. This group can be defined by the following characteristics: Forewings with three bands, the pterostigmal band branched posteriorly, but usually interrupted medially so that the apical branch appears to be an isolated spot, and the basal band also usually interrupted medially; two humeral spots along the basal margin; and most crossveins darkly margined. Anal horn present on the male 6th abdominal tergite. Males of Panorpa speciosa have hypovalves short, only about half the length of the basistyles. Ventral parameres curved and joined at base, bearing an apical cluster of bristles. Inner margin of basistyles with a small tooth at mid-length. Basal lobe of dististyles disc shaped with slight expansion of dorsal margin and small tuft of bristles at ventral margin. Panorpa speciosa can be separated from other members of this group by the combination of short hypovalves, unbranched, short ventral parameres, and the small tuft of bristles along the ventral margin of the basal lobe of the dististyles.
Distribution – Geographical: This is an upper Midwestern U.S.A. species, found from Indiana westward to Iowa and Kentucky northward to Wisconsin (Webb et al., 1975).
Distribution – Temporal: 14 May until 1 November. This species appears to have a bimodal emergence in June and September indicating the possibility of two generations per year.
Ecology: This species is found along moist river bottoms where stinging nettle, jewelweed, poison ivy, and brambles form an abundant understory and maples are the dominant shade trees. It is often collected together with Panorpa helena.
Biology: Nothing is known of immature stages or life history.
Notes: The name speciosa is Latin for beautiful or showy.
Carpenter, F.M. 1931. Revision of the Nearctic Mecoptera. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 72:205-277.
Webb, D.W., N.D. Penny, and J.C. Marlin. 1975. The Mecoptera, or Scorpion-flies, of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin, 31:251-316.