Neopanorpa magna Issiki, 1927
Diagnosis: This large species has rather distinctive wings: the apical band is solid, without transparent spots, and the pterostigmal band is forked caudally; proximal to the pterostigmal band, there are only two tiny spots as remnants of the basal band. The male has quite long dististyles, as long as or longer than the basistyles and they are strongly arched.
Distribution – Geographical: Originally described from the following four localities: Chiayi County, Alishan Township, Arisan [Alishan], 23°26’ 04.06” N, 120°46’42.13”E, 12 September 1926, S. Akasaka, 1♂ ; Funkiko (= Fen-chi-hu, Alishan Township, Chiayi County, 23°30’17.76”N, 120°41’40.47”E), 6 May 1926, S. Issiki, 1♂ (Issiki Collection); Pianan (= Nan-shan-ping, 25°02’13”N, 121°46’31”E), 11 July 1926, T. Kano, 1♂ (USNM); Sungkang (= Mt. Tattaka), 20 July 1925, 1♀. Yie (1951) records this species from Yü-shih (Miharashi)[perhaps Nantou County, Ren-ai Township, 24°02’52”N, 121°09’22”E), 1700 m, May and June; Funkiko, 1400 m, May. Most records indicate that this is a high altitude species located in forested areas in the center of the island. Thus, the low elevational record from Nan-shan-ping in the northernmost part of the island must be viewed with some question.
Distribution – Temporal: This species has been collected in May, June, July, and September.
Ecology: The known records would indicate a cool, moist, forested habitat for this species.
Biology: Yie (1951) indicates that there are 32.0 eggs per egg cluster.
Notes: This is probably the largest species of panorpid in Taiwan with a forewing length of 21 mm.
In 1994 Miyamoto described N. babai. He indicated that many characteristics of N. babai are similar to those of N. magna, such as size and wing pattern. From the drawings, it appears that shape of the male genital bulb and nodal organ are also similar. Miyamoto indicated that N. babai differs from N. magna by the shape of the male hypovalves and ventral parameres. However, in ventral view, the shape of the hypovalves varies depending on the amount of twisting during the drying process. The vental parameres are relatively small, and not well illustrated in either of the original descriptions of N. magna or N. babai.
There is a ♂ specimen in the USNM that was donated to that institution by S. Issiki in 1972. Although not identified by him, it appears to be Neopanorpa magna/babai. It fits the description of N. babai well. Among its characteristics, there appears to be a pair of small, upturned hooks medially at the base of the aedeagus, and a second pair of small, medial spines below the aedeagus (ventral parameres ?). A species that large and distinct, if different from N. magna, I think would have been recognized as new and described by Issiki. For these reasons, I believe N. babai to be a synonym of N. magna. However, until the type of N. magna can be located we will not know the synonymy with certainty.
Byers, G.W. 1994. Taiwanese species of Neopanorpa (Insecta: Mecoptera: Panorpidae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 63(2):185-192.
Issiki, S. 1927. New and Rare Species of Mecoptera from Corea, Formosa and Japan. Insecta Matsumurana, 2:1-12.
Miyamoto, S. 1994b. Two interesting insects, Babacoris striatus gen. nov. and sp. Nov. and Neopanorpa babai sp. Nov. collected by the late Dr. Kintaro Baba in Taiwan (Heteroptera: Miridae and Mecoptera: Panorpidae). Special Bulletin of the Essa Entomological Society 2:115-118.