Mecoptera

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Mecoptera
Temporal range: Permian - Recent
Panorpa communis, male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Superorder: Panorpida
Order: Mecoptera
Hyatt & Arms, 1891
Families

Mecoptera (from the Greek: meco- = "long", -ptera = "wings") are an order of insects with about 550 species in nine families worldwide. Mecoptera are sometimes called scorpionflies after their largest family Panorpidae, in which the males have enlarged genitals that look similar to the stinger of a scorpion. The Bittacidae, or hangingflies, are a prominent family of elongate insects known for their elaborate mating rituals, in which females choose mates based on the quality of gift prey offered by various males.