Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Genomics and Bioinformatics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301343

Title: The first nearly cryptic Scorpionfly (Mecoptera: Panorpidae) from North America

item BICHA, WESLEY - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
item SCHIFF, NATHAN - Us Forest Service (FS)
item LANCASTER, AARON - Us Forest Service (FS)
item Scheffler, Brian

Submitted to: Zootaxa
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Bicha, W., Schiff, N., Lancaster, A., Scheffler, B.E. 2015. The first nearly cryptic Scorpionfly (Mecoptera: Panorpidae) from North America. Zootaxa. 3973(3):591–600.

Interpretive Summary: This paper describes a new cryptic species to the common scorpionflies, specifically Panorpa cryptica. Its classification is based on it phenotypic characteristics and the use of DNA sequence of a gene called cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) which is found in the mitochondrial DNA. Sequences of COI are commonly used to help distinguish species or closely related populations. Scorpionflies appear to have minimal impact on most agricultural systems but they are importance for evolutionary studies as they are one of the oldest holometabolous (four life stages ) (also called complete metamorphism) insect lineages. Panorpa cryptica appears to be limited to mid-elevation areas south of the Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina.

Technical Abstract: The first, nearly cryptic species of scorpionfly from the United States, Panorpa cryptica Bicha and Schiff, n. sp., is described from northern Georgia, southwestern North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina. This insect was initially differentiated from the very similar Panorpa nebulosa Westwood, 1841 (Somma 2011,Byers 1962) by its unique cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial DNA. Habitat details, distribution, and biology are described.