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).

<==Mecopteroidea [Mecopterida] RL09
    |--Muchoria RJ93 [Muchoriidae RL09]
    |    `--M. reducta RJ93
    `--+--Siphonaptera RL09
       `--Mecoptera [Eumecoptera] RL09
            |  i. s.: Anormochorista [Anormochoristidae] RJ93
            |           `--A. oligoclada RJ93
            |         Choristopanorpa [Choristopanorpidae] RJ93
            |           |--C. bifasciata Riek 1950 F71
            |           `--C. drinnani Jell & Duncan 1986 RJ93
            |         Cimbrophlebia [Cimbrophlebiidae] RJ93
            |           `--C. bittaciformis RJ93
            |         Cyclopterina [Cyclopterinidae] RJ93
            |           `--C. autumnalis RJ93
            |         Cyclorista [Cycloristidae] RJ93
            |           `--C. convexicosta RJ93
            |         Lithopanorpa [Lithopanorpidae] RJ93
            |           |--L. kuznetskiensis RJ93
            |           `--L. pusilla RJ93
            |         Martynopanorpa [Martynopanorpidae] RJ93
            |           `--M. angustata RJ93
            |         Neorthophlebia [Neorthophlebiidae] RJ93
            |           `--N. maculipennis RJ93
            |         Neoparachorista [Neoparachoristidae] RJ93
            |           |--N. clarkae Jell & Duncan 1986 RJ93
            |           |--N. perkinsi K-P91
            |           `--N. splendida K-P91
            |         Petrochorista [Petrochoristidae] RJ93
            |           |--P. elegantula RJ93
            |           `--P. prona RJ93
            |         Protopanorpa [Protopanorpidae] RJ93
            |           `--P. permiana RJ93
            |         Tomiochorista [Tomiochoristidae] RJ93
            |           `--T. minuta RJ93
            |         Triassochorista [Triassochoristidae] RJ93
            |           `--T. nana RJ93
            |         Xenochoristidae RJ93
            |           |--Xenochoristella hillae RJ93
            |           `--Xenochorista F71
            |                |--X. sobrina Riek 1953 F71
            |                `--X. splendida Riek 1953 F71
            |--Aneuretopsychina RL09
            `--+--+--+--Bittacidae RL09
               |  |  `--Robinjohnia F71 [Robinjohniidae RL09]
               |  |       `--R. tillyardi Martynov 1948 F71
               |  `--+--Boreidae RL09
               |     `--Nannochoristidae RL09
               |          |--Itaphlebia multa N02
               |          |--Nannochorista neotropica B91, GE05
               |          `--Microchorista philpotti B91, WT11 [=Nannochorista philpotti GE05]
               `--+--+--+--Englathaumatidae N02
                  |  |  `--Dinopanorpa RJ93 [Dinopanorpidae RL09]
                  |  |       --D. megarche RJ93
                  |  `--+--Parachorista N02 [Parachoristidae RL09]
                  |     |    |--P. bairdae (Tillyard 1922) [=Archipanorpa bairdae] F71
                  |     |    |--P. comica N02
                  |     |    |--P. pincombeae Tillyard 1926 [incl. P. warnerensis Tillyard 1926] F71
                  |     |    `--P. splendida Tillyard 1926 F71
                  |     `--+--Eomeropidae [Notiothaumatidae] RL09
                  |        |    |--Notiothauma reedi GE05
                  |        |    |--Eomerope GE05
                  |        |    `--Pronotiothauma neuropteroides RJ93
                  |        `--+--Thaumatomeropidae RL09
                  |           `--Meropeidae RL09
                  |                |--Merope tuber B91
                  |                `--Austromerope poultoni B91
                  `--+--Orthophlebiidae [Austropanorpidae] GE05
                     |    |--Austropanorpa australis N02, RJ93
                     |    `--Orthophlebia GE05
                     |         |--O. curta RJ93
                     |         |--O. grandis N02
                     |         |--O. heidemariae N02
                     |         `--O. longicauda N02
                     `--+--+--Holcorpa [Holcorpidae] GE05
                        |  |    `--H. maculosa GE05
                        |  `--+--Panorpidae RL09
                        |     `--Panorpodidae GE05
                        |          |--Brachypanorpa carolinensis GE05, K-P87
                        |          `--Panorpodes brevicauda RJ93
                        `--+--Apteropanorpa B91 [Apteropanorpidae GE05]
                           |    `--A. tasmanica B91
                           `--Choristidae N02
                                |--Neochorista ruficeps B91
                                |--Taeniochorista pallida B91
                                |--Cretacochorista parva Jell & Duncan 1986 RJ93
                                `--Chorista Klug 1836 ICZN03
                                     |--*C. australis Klug 1838 ICZN03
                                     `--C. ruficeps R70

*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] Kukalov√°-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] Kukalov√°-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.

Last updated: 24 April 2022.

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