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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Merope tuber - Forcepfly

Neuropteran? Small lacewing size, but folds wings completely flat - Merope tuber - female Mystery - Merope tuber Forcepfly - Merope tuber - female Forcepfly - Merope tuber Merope tuber  - Merope tuber - female Merope tuber - male Merope tuber, female - Merope tuber - female Insect for ID - Merope tuber
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
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Merope tuber Newman, 1838
Explanation of Names
refers to the tuber-shaped lobe, or jugum, at the base of the forewing along the hind margin (see Etymology of the earwigfly, Merope tuber Newman (Mecoptera: Meropeidae): Simply dull or just inscrutable? Insecta Mundi 0013: 1-5. 24 Aug 2007)
body 8-15 mm
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.
e. NA (PQ-ON-ME-MN to GA-OK-TX)(1)
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.
June to September
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)
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)
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.