Panorpa falsa Issiki & Cheng, 1947
Diagnosis: This species has broad dark markings on the wings: complete apical band, forked pterostigmal band, and interrupted basal band with adjacent spot forming triangle of three dark spots. Meso- and metanota have medial pale stripe. Males have branched ventral parameres that do not extend beyond the base of the dististyles. Female genital axis is curved in lateral view.
Distribution – Geographical: Taipei County, Kueisan (= Kizan), 7 mi. [10 km] south of Taihoku (=Taipei), 19 November 1946, F.-Y. Cheng, 1♂, 6♀♀ (holotype, allotype, 4 paratypes – NTU); Shanglienpei, 4 November 1928, S. Issiki, 4♂♂ (NTU); Taihoku (= Taipei), 1927, S. Issiki, 12♂♂, 14♀♀ (NTU); Daitonsan (= Tatungshan), Taihoku, 800 m, 9 November 1940, Miyamoto, 2♂♂, 2♀♀ (NTU); Shinten, Taihoku ( = Taipei), S. Issiki, 1♂, 1♀ (NTU). Yie (1951) mentions Kōkan, >500m, November – December.
Distribution – Temporal: All records are from November.
Ecology: The late season emergence of this species may indicate a seasonal adaptation to cooler, moister temperatures.
Biology: Yie (1951) has studied the life history of this species. The life history is as follows: Eggs swell and change proportions during development. At hatching the eggs are oval, pale gray, and average 1.03 mm length and 0.80 mm in width. On average it took females 23.0 days from emergence to first oviposition. Eggs are laid in crevices in the soil. The number of eggs in a cluster averages 46.7 eggs and the total number of eggs laid per female is 128.4 eggs. It takes an average of 12.3 days for the eggs to hatch, but this varied depending on the season and locality. The larva goes through three moults and four instars. Each instar requires 5.5 to 7.7 days to develop, the total time from egg to the prepupal stage averages 27.2 days. During that period of time the larva grows from 3.38 to 13.05 mm in length. Larvae were generally omnivorous, but seen to feed on injured, inactive invertebrate animals and occasionally uninjured, inactive insects. Larvae form a burrow in the soil and remain there with their heads exposed. If food is provided, the larva will not leave the burrow until maturity. Upon maturity the larva crawls out of its burrow and digs a separate, elliptical cell in the soil for the cocoon at a depth of about 6 to 10 cm. This prepupal stage lasts about 9 to 10 months. The larva then molts to the pupal stage, which lasts 14 to 15 days. As the pupa leaves its cell, it will dig its way through the soil to the surface, which can take several hours. The final molt to adult takes about six minutes. Adult females generally live longer than males, females – 55.1 days, males – 33.4 days. Yie found that all Taiwanese species of Panorpa that he studied, including P. falsa, had one generation per year, while some of the lower elevation species of Neopanorpa had two generations per year.
Notes: This species is named “falsa” for the similarity its wings bear to Panorpe deceptor. Issiki & Cheng (1947) indicate that P. deceptor is a southern Taiwan species. If so, the previous records from northern Taiwan may belong to this species.
Issiki, S. and F.-Y. Cheng. 1947. Formosan Mecoptera with Descriptions of New Species. Memoirs of theCollege of Agriculture, national Taiwan University, 1:1-17.
Yie, S.-T. 1951. The Biology of Formosan Panorpidae and Morphology of Eleven Species of theirimmature Stages. Memoirs of the College of Agriculture, National Taiwan University, 2(4):1-111.