Harpobittacus septentrionis, copyright Summerdrought.

Belongs within: Mecopteroidea.

The Bittacidae, hanging-flies, are a group of large, predatory scorpionflies that commonly hunt by hanging from vegetation with their fore legs and grasping prey with the hind legs (Byers 1991).

Characters (from Byers 1991): Single-clawed, raptorial tarsi. Wings elongate, slender basally. Compound eyes large, protruding; ocelli large, on a median prominence; rostrum slender. Basistyles of male bulbous, broadly fused ventrally; dististyles ordinarily small, inconspicuous; T9 divided into two lobes, clasper-like in appearance but not in function. Larvae with two dorsal rows of branched, fleshy processes.

    |--Anomalobittacus N02
    |--Apterobittacus N02
    |--Archebittacus exilis N02
    |--Orobittacus N02
    |--Symbittacus L94
    |--Kalobittacus L94
    |--Nannobittacus L94
    |--Hylobittacus L94
    |--Tytthobittacus Smithers 1973 R74
    |--Austrobittacus B91
    |--Edriobittacus B91
    |--Probittacus avitus RJ93
    |--Bittacus Latreille 1802 L02
    |    |--*B. tipularius [=Panorpa tipularia] L02
    |    |--B. apterus R13
    |    |--B. eremus L94
    |    |--B. mastrillii CM07
    |    |--B. pilicornis KP19
    |    `--B. strigosus HR11
    `--Harpobittacus Gerstaecker 1885 L94
         |--+--+--H. rubricatus Riek 1954 [=H. tillyardi rubricatus] L94
         |  |  `--H. tillyardi Esben-Petersen 1915 [incl. H. nigratus Navás 1932] L94
         |  `--+--*H. australis (Klug 1838) (see below for synonymy) L94
         |     `--+--H. albatus Riek 1954 [=H. tillyardi alatus; incl. H. limnaeus Smithers 1973] L94
         |        `--H. christine Lambkin 1994 L94
         `--+--+--H. quasisimilis Lambkin 1994 L94
            |  `--H. similis Esben-Petersen 1935 L94
            `--+--+--H. nigriceps (Selys-Longchamps 1868) [=Bittacus nigriceps] L94
               |  `--H. phaeoscius Riek 1954 L94
               `--+--H. scheibeli Esben-Petersen 1935 [incl. H. brewerae Smithers 1973] L94
                  `--H. septentrionis Lambkin 1994 L94

*Harpobittacus australis (Klug 1838) [=Bittacus australis; incl. B. corethrarius Rambur 1842, B. intermedius Selys-Longchamps 1868, Harpobittacus intermedius, H. australis rubripes Riek 1954] L94

*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).

[CM07] Cokendolpher, J. C., & P. G. Mitov. 2007. Natural enemies. In: Pinto-da-Rocha, R., G. Machado & G. Giribet (eds) Harvestmen: The Biology of Opiliones pp. 339–373. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[HR11] Heraty, J., F. Ronquist, J. M. Carpenter, D. Hawks, S. Schulmeister, A. P. Dowling, D. Murray, J. Munro, W. C. Wheeler, N. Schiff & M. Sharkey. 2011. Evolution of the hymenopteran megaradiation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 73–88.

[KP19] Kawahara, A. Y., D. Plotkin, M. Espeland, K. Meusemann, E. F. A. Toussaint, A. Donath, F. Gimnich, P. B. Frandsen, A. Zwick, M. dos Reis, J. R. Barber, R. S. Peters, S. Liu, X. Zhou, C. Mayer, L. Podsiadlowski, C. Storer, J. E. Yack, B. Misof & J. W. Breinholt. 2019. Phylogenomics reveals the evolutionary timing and pattern of butterflies and moths. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 116 (45): 22657–22663.

[L94] Lambkin, K. J. 1994. Revision of the Australian scorpion-fly genus Harpobittacus (Mecoptera: Bittacidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 8: 767–808.

[L02] Latreille, P. A. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière des crustacés et des insectes vol. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart: Paris.

[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.

[R13] Reuter, O. M. 1913. Lebensgewohnheiten und Instinkte der Insekten bis zum Erwachen der sozialen Instinkte. R. Friedländer & Sohn: Berlin.

[R74] Riek, E. F. 1974. Mecoptera (scorpion-flies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers. Supplement 1974 pp. 90. 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.

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