Mecoptera


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Related to Mecoptera: Panorpidae, Siphonaptera, Boreidae

Mecoptera

[me′käp·tə·rə]
(invertebrate zoology)
The scorpion flies, a small order of insects; adults are distinguished by the peculiar prolongation of the head into a beak, which bears chewing mouthparts.

Mecoptera

 

(scorpion flies), an order of insects with complete metamorphosis. The body reaches 3 cm in length. The two pairs of identical wings are reticulate and transparent; sometimes they may have dark spots. The head is elongated into a beak, and the mouthparts are fitted for chewing. In some species the caudal part of the abdomen has a swelling that resembles the abdominal tip of a scorpion. The pupa is exarate.

There are about 300 species of scorpion flies, distributed everywhere but not usually found in great numbers. More than ten species are present in the USSR. Fossils dating back to the Permian have been found. Scorpion flies of the family Panorpidae feed on dead insects; the larvae resemble caterpillars but can be distinguished by the presence of eight pairs of abdominal legs. Flies of the family Bittacidae resemble weevils, but they have two pairs of wings. The Bittacidae are predators. Their larvae resemble caterpillars. (For a discussion of the family Boreidae seeBOREIDAE.)

REFERENCE

Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 3. Moscow, 1969.
References in periodicals archive ?
Seven confirmed prey records are available: Isoptera (alate), Lepidoptera (two unidentified moths), Mecoptera (Bittacidae--Bittacus nebulosus), Diptera (Tipulidae), Coleoptera (Chrysomelidae, Scarabaeidae).
An unresolved issue has been the relationships of three clades of the Neuropterida (Kristensen, 1999), but more contentious are the relationships within the Antliophora that has provided more fundamental problems, such as whether the Siphonaptera is embedded within the Mecoptera (Whiting, 2002; Beutel and Pohl, 2006), and the possible paraphyly of the Nannochoristidae, traditionally included as the basalmost clade in the Mecoptera (Friedrich and Beutel, 2009, but see Wiegmann et al.
Bittacus strigosus (hanging fly) is a member of the Order Mecoptera.
Arthropods collected at 5 sites in the preserve, included these 9 insect orders (with number of families on parentheses): Coleopt era (15), Diptera (12), Hymenoptera (10), Hemiptera (9), Lepidoptera (9), Homoptera (4), Siphonaptera (2), Phasmida (1), and Mecoptera (1).
The order Mecoptera contains the scorpionflies (genus Panorpa) and hangingflies (genus Bittacus).