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Species Merope tuber - Forcepfly

Neuropteran? Small lacewing size, but folds wings completely flat - Merope tuber - female Forcepfly - Merope tuber - female Merope tuber - female Merope tuber Forcepfly - Merope tuber - female Merope tuber, female - Merope tuber - female Forcepfly - Merope tuber - male Pennsylvania Forcepfly - Merope tuber
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hangingflies, and Allies)
Family Meropeidae (Forcepflies)
Genus Merope
Species tuber (Forcepfly)
Other Common Names
Earwigfly, Earwig Scorpionfly
Explanation of Names
Merope tuber Newman 1838
the trvial name refers to the tuber-shaped lobe at the base of the forewing (Somma & Dunford 2007)
Size
body 8-15 mm
Identification
Appearance unique; body rather flattened, yellowish-brown; wings divided into many rectangular cells by numerous cross-veins; male with elongate, slender clasping structures at end of abdomen; female abdomen shorter, tapering to narrow tip.
Jugum (a lobe at the base of a forewing along the hind margin) has serrated undersides and can be rubbed against a serrated area of the thorax to produce sound (stridulation), typically as a defense behavior when disturbed, but also to communicate with the opposite sex.
Range
e. NA (QC-ON-ME-MN to GA-OK-TX)(1)
Habitat
in low vegetation or on the ground in densely-vegetated woodlands, often near water or wet seeps (similar to scorpionfly habitat); adults are nocturnal and attracted to light.
Season
Jun-Sep
Life Cycle
Very little is known about biology or behavior. Larvae have never been discovered. The flattened appearance suggests that the adults probably spend much of their time close to the ground hiding in cracks and crevices.(2)
Remarks
Uncommon to rare in collections and seldom encountered, but more regularly collected over the last few decades (and in more states), may be due to increased use of flight intercept traps.(1) Fairly large series collected in Malaise traps(2)
Sticky trap collections near a pig decomposition project suggest attraction to carrion(3)
Works Cited
1.World checklist of extant Mecoptera species
2.Earwigflies in the Great Smokies
J.C. Dunford, D. Serrano, and L.A. Somma. 2006. SE Biology 53(1): 27-29.
3.Merope tuber Newman (Mecoptera: Meropeidae) Collected in Association with Carrion in Greene County, Ohio, USA: An Infrequent Col
Pechal, J. L., Benbow, M. E., & Tomberlin, J. K. 2011. The American Midland Naturalist.