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 ?
The order Mecoptera contains the scorpionflies (genus Panorpa) and hangingflies (genus Bittacus).
This family was once considered a hypothetical primitive taxon in the order Mecoptera (Tillyard 1926, 1935; Remington 1968); however, recent phylogenetic work disputes this placement (Willmann 1987, 1989; Whiting 2002).
Extant Mecoptera are not especially speciose and are absent in many regions of the world (Remington 1968; Kaltenbach 1978).
Ecological and geographical relationships of southern Appalachian Mecoptera (Insecta), pp.
Geographic affinities of the North American Mecoptera.
Autumnal Mecoptera of the southeastern United States.
A Faunal Study of the Mecoptera (Insecta) of Rocky Branch Nature Preserve, Clark County, Illinois.