Orthophlebia grandis part and counterpart fossil, copyright Bjoertvedt.

Belongs within: Panorpoidea.
Contains: Siphonaptera, Aneuretopsychina, Bittacidae, Boreidae, Panorpidae.

The Mecopteroidea are a clade of insects uniting the modern orders Mecoptera and Siphonaptera which share a fused clypeus and labrum together with a lining of spicule-like teeth in the proventriculus (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). The Early–Mid-Jurassic Muchoriidae, characterised by wing with a short subcosta, vein R angular at the pterostigmal base, two-branched RS, a short MA fork and four-branched MP (Novokshonov 2002) may represent the sister group of the two orders together.

The Mecoptera are commonly known as scorpion-flies due to the large bulbous terminal genitalia of males in most families, which superficially resemble a scorpion’s tail. The head and mouthparts are elongate and ventrally prolonged. They are commonly regarded as among the most generalised representatives of the holometabolous insects, retaining many plesiomorphic features such as wings with an extensive venation and relatively little differentiation between fore and hind wings (Grimaldi & Engel 2005). The fossil record of Mecoptera is correspondingly extensive, going back to the Late Permian. Among modern taxa, the Tasmanian species Apteropanorpa tasmanica is entirely wingless with the mesothoracic and metathoracic sclerites reduced and fused (Byers 1991). The Meropeidae of Australia and North America are somewhat flattened insects that hold the wings flat over the body in repose, and have a markedly reticulate wing venation (Byers 1991).

<==Mecopteroidea [Mecopterida]RL09
    |--MuchoriaRJ93 [MuchoriidaeRL09]
    |    `--M. reductaRJ93
       `--Mecoptera [Eumecoptera]RL09
            |  i. s.: Anormochorista [Anormochoristidae]RJ93
            |           `--A. oligocladaRJ93
            |         Choristopanorpa [Choristopanorpidae]RJ93
            |           |--C. bifasciata Riek 1950F71
            |           `--C. drinnani Jell & Duncan 1986RJ93
            |         Cimbrophlebia [Cimbrophlebiidae]RJ93
            |           `--C. bittaciformisRJ93
            |         Cyclopterina [Cyclopterinidae]RJ93
            |           `--C. autumnalisRJ93
            |         Cyclorista [Cycloristidae]RJ93
            |           `--C. convexicostaRJ93
            |         Lithopanorpa [Lithopanorpidae]RJ93
            |           |--L. kuznetskiensisRJ93
            |           `--L. pusillaRJ93
            |         Martynopanorpa [Martynopanorpidae]RJ93
            |           `--M. angustataRJ93
            |         Neorthophlebia [Neorthophlebiidae]RJ93
            |           `--N. maculipennisRJ93
            |         Neoparachorista [Neoparachoristidae]RJ93
            |           |--N. clarkae Jell & Duncan 1986RJ93
            |           |--N. perkinsiK-P91
            |           `--N. splendidaK-P91
            |         Petrochorista [Petrochoristidae]RJ93
            |           |--P. elegantulaRJ93
            |           `--P. pronaRJ93
            |         Protopanorpa [Protopanorpidae]RJ93
            |           `--P. permianaRJ93
            |         Tomiochorista [Tomiochoristidae]RJ93
            |           `--T. minutaRJ93
            |         Triassochorista [Triassochoristidae]RJ93
            |           `--T. nanaRJ93
            |         XenochoristidaeRJ93
            |           |--Xenochoristella hillaeRJ93
            |           `--XenochoristaF71
            |                |--X. sobrina Riek 1953F71
            |                `--X. splendida Riek 1953F71
               |  |  `--RobinjohniaF71 [RobinjohniidaeRL09]
               |  |       `--R. tillyardi Martynov 1948F71
               |  `--+--BoreidaeRL09
               |     `--NannochoristidaeRL09
               |          |--Itaphlebia multaN02
               |          |--Nannochorista neotropicaB91, GE05
               |          `--Microchorista philpottiB91, WT11 [=Nannochorista philpottiGE05]
                  |  |  `--DinopanorpaRJ93 [DinopanorpidaeRL09]
                  |  |       --D. megarcheRJ93
                  |  `--+--ParachoristaN02 [ParachoristidaeRL09]
                  |     |    |--P. bairdae (Tillyard 1922) [=Archipanorpa bairdae]F71
                  |     |    |--P. comicaN02
                  |     |    |--P. pincombeae Tillyard 1926 [incl. P. warnerensis Tillyard 1926]F71
                  |     |    `--P. splendida Tillyard 1926F71
                  |     `--+--Eomeropidae [Notiothaumatidae]RL09
                  |        |    |--Notiothauma reediGE05
                  |        |    |--EomeropeGE05
                  |        |    `--Pronotiothauma neuropteroidesRJ93
                  |        `--+--ThaumatomeropidaeRL09
                  |           `--MeropeidaeRL09
                  |                |--Merope tuberB91
                  |                `--Austromerope poultoniB91
                  `--+--Orthophlebiidae [Austropanorpidae]GE05
                     |    |--Austropanorpa australisN02, RJ93
                     |    `--OrthophlebiaGE05
                     |         |--O. curtaRJ93
                     |         |--O. grandisN02
                     |         |--O. heidemariaeN02
                     |         `--O. longicaudaN02
                     `--+--+--Holcorpa [Holcorpidae]GE05
                        |  |    `--H. maculosaGE05
                        |  `--+--PanorpidaeRL09
                        |     `--PanorpodidaeGE05
                        |          |--Brachypanorpa carolinensisGE05, K-P87
                        |          `--Panorpodes brevicaudaRJ93
                        `--+--ApteropanorpaB91 [ApteropanorpidaeGE05]
                           |    `--A. tasmanicaB91
                                |--Neochorista ruficepsB91
                                |--Taeniochorista pallidaB91
                                |--Cretacochorista parva Jell & Duncan 1986RJ93
                                `--Chorista Klug 1836ICZN03
                                     |--*C. australis Klug 1838ICZN03
                                     `--C. ruficepsR70

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B91] Byers, G. W. 1991. Mecoptera (scorpion-flies, hanging-flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 696–704. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[ICZN03] ICZN. 2003. Choristidae Verrill, 1882 (Mollusca, Gastropoda): spelling emended to Choristeidae, so removing the homonymy with Choristidae Esben-Petersen, 1915 (Insecta, Mecoptera). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 60 (3): 224–225.

[K-P87] Kukalová-Peck, J. 1987. New Carboniferous Diplura, Monura, and Thysanura, the hexapod ground plan, and the role of thoracic side lobes in the origin of wings (Insecta). Canadian Journal of Zoology 65: 2327–2345.

[K-P91] Kukalová-Peck, J. 1991. Fossil history and the evolution of hexapod structures. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 1 pp. 141–179. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[N02] Novokshonov, V. G. 2002. Order Panorpida Latreille, 1802. The scorpionflies (=Mecaptera Packard, 1886, =Mecoptera Comstock et Comstock, 1895, +Neomecoptera Hinton, 1958, +Paratrichoptera Tillyard, 1919, +Paramecoptera Tillyard, 1919). In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 194–199. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[RL09] Ren, D., C. C. Labandeira, J. A. Santiago-Blay, A. Rasnitsyn, C. Shih, A. Bashkuev, M. A. V. Logan, C. L. Hotton & D. Dilcher. 2009. A probable pollination mode before angiosperms: Eurasian, long-proboscid scorpionflies. Science 326: 840-847.

[R70] Riek, E. F. 1970. Mecoptera (scorpion-flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 636–646. Melbourne University Press.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[WT11] Wiegmann, B. M., M. D. Trautwein, I. S. Winkler, N. B. Barr, J.-W. Kim, C. Lambkin, M. A. Bertone, B. K. Cassel, K. M. Bayless, A. M. Heimberg, B. M. Wheeler, K. J. Peterson, T. Pape, B. J. Sinclair, J. H. Skevington, V. Blagoderov, J. Caravas, S. N. Kutty, U. Schmidt-Ott, G. E. Kampmeier, F. C. Thompson, D. A. Grimaldi, A. T. Beckenbach, G. W. Courtney, M. Friedrich, R. Meier & D. K. Yeates. 2011. Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108 (14): 5690–5695.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *