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Genus Boreus

Snow Scorpionfly - Boreus brumalis - male Snow Scorpionfly - Boreus brumalis - female Snow-born Boreus - Boreus nivoriundus - male Is this a wasp? Or something else? - Boreus brumalis - male Snow-born Boreus - Boreus nivoriundus - male Boreus brumalis - male Boreus in Carlisle, MA - Boreus Boreus brumalis - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mecoptera (Scorpionflies, Hangingflies, and Allies)
Family Boreidae (Snow Scorpionflies)
Genus Boreus
Explanation of Names
Boreus Latreille 1816
'Boreus' (northern) refers to the distribution of these insects
12 species in NA (10 western, 2 eastern), 27 total(1)
2-6 mm
Adults dark-colored with an elongated rostrum ("beak"), long antennae, vestigial wings, and long hind legs adapted to jumping; female has a straight ovipositor about the same length as the rostrum, and tapering to a point; males have a blunt rounded abdominal tip
Keys to spp.:
Carpenter 1935: 111-112 (out of date, several synonymies)
Penny 1977: 186-187 (lacking subsequently described spp., e.g. B. bomari, B. insulanus)
throughout the Holarctic Region; in NA, AK-NB south to VA-TN in the east, to CA-AZ in the west; only B. brumalis and B. nivoriundus are eastern(1)
on surface of snow at high elevations in southern part of range; on snow in various habitats farther north
Nov-Apr (BG data)
larvae and adults feed on leafy parts of mosses(2)
The mating behavior is peculiar among insects: the male grasps the female with his slender, hardened wings and moves her to a position above his back, with the lower part of her ovipositor inserted into his ninth (genital) segment(3). The female, on the male's back, has the base of her ovipositor touching the tip of the male's upturned abdomen.
Works Cited
1.World checklist of extant Mecoptera species
2.The Mecoptera, or scorpionflies, of Illinois
Webb D.W., Penny N.D., Marlin J.C. 1975. Illinois Natural History Survey Bull. 31: 251–316.
3.Scorpionflies, hangingflies, and other Mecoptera
Byers G.W. 2002. The Kansas School Naturalist 48(1).