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Scorpionflies and Hangingflies: Mecoptera

No Common Name (panorpa Nuptialis): Species Account

Physical characteristics: The bodies of the adults are reddish brown. The yellow wings are marked with broad black or brown bands. The larvae are ringed with dark spots and short bristles and resemble caterpillars.

Geographic range: Panorpa nuptialis is found in the south-central United States and northern Mexico.

Habitat: The adults rest on dense vegetation in open fields and pastureland. The larvae live in the soil of these habitats.

Adult Panorpa nuptialis rest on dense vegetation in open fields and pastureland. The larvae live in the soil of these habitats. (Illustration by Wendy Baker. Reproduced by permission)

Diet: Both adults and larvae scavenge dead or dying soft-bodied insects.

Behavior and reproduction: Courting males occasionally offer saliva secretions to the female. Females lay their eggs in cracks in the soil. The larvae reach the pupal stage in about a month. They overwinter as pupae. Adults emerge in late fall and live nearly a month.

Panorpa nuptialis and people: This species does not impact people or their activities.

Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎



Tavolacci, J., ed. Insects and Spiders of the World. Volume 8: Scorpion Fly-Stink Bug. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003.


Byers, G. W., and R. Thornhill. "Biology of the Mecoptera." Annual Review of Entomology 28 (1983): 203–228.

Web sites:

"Mecoptera. Scorpionflies." Ecowatch. http://www.ento.csiro.au/Ecowatch/Insects_Invertebrates/mecoptera.htm (accessed on October 21, 2004).

Mecoptera. Scorpionflies/Hangingflies. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/compendium/mecopt1.html (accessed on October 21, 2004).

Mecoptera Page. http://members.tripod.com/buggyrose/ipm/81mecoptera.html (accessed on October 21, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersScorpionflies and Hangingflies: Mecoptera - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (panorpa Nuptialis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, MECOPTERANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS