Tasmanian scorpionflies

​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 31 March 2021.

Applicant: CSIRO, Australian National Insect Collection

Species/Taxon: Apteropanorpa species (Insecta: Mecoptera)

Location: Mt Field National Park, also possibly Central Plateau Conservation Area and Mt Wellington

Title of research: Immature stages and evolutionary relationships of Australian wingless scorpionflies (Insecta: Mecoptera: Apteropanorpidae)

Aim of project: The Apteropanorpidae is one of only nine families of Mecoptera worldwide, and is endemic to Tasmania. The family comprises four described species in the genus Apteropanorpa. Three species occur in alpine habitats, and one species is found at lower elevations. The adults are relatively well-known, and are most active in autumn, feeding on the large variety and abundance of invertebrates that co-occur with Apteropanorpa species. However, the immature stages (larvae and pupae) are not known with certainty, and their discovery and description will yield important biological information about this family and its relationships to other scorpionfly families. Studies of the morphology and ultrastructure of the larvae will also yield important clues as to the evolution of the Mecoptera.

Justification: No Apteropanorpa species is listed as threatened, and none need to be listed as such. Much of the distribution of the Apteropanorpidae is in National Parks. This research will help fill significant knowledge gaps on one of Tasmania’s distinctive and endemic insect groups.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: if the immature stages are located, less than 100 individuals will be collected.

Activities undertaken and methods: Targeted searching and collecting by hand. No traps will be used, and no other animal or plant species will be collected.

Fate of animals: Some larvae and pupae will be preserved for morphological and molecular study. Hopefully adults will be reared from other larvae and pupae.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): There will be no discernible impact on any species. There are very likely to be thousands of individuals of these species on each mountain where they occur.

Relevant publications:
Palmer, C.M. & Yeates, D.K. (2020). Distribution of adult Australian wingless scorpionflies (Mecoptera: Apteropanorpidae). Austral Entomology 59: 142-148.
Palmer, C.M., Trueman, J.W.H. and Yeates, D.K. (2007). Systematics of the Apteropanorpidae (Insecta: Mecoptera) based on morphological and molecular evidence. Invertebrate Systematics 21 (6): 589-612.
Palmer, C. M. and Yeates, D. K. (2005). Diet and feeding behavior in adults of the Apteropanorpidae (Mecoptera). Journal of Insect Behavior 18 (2): 209-231.


Scientific Research Permits
Natural and Cultural Heritage
Level 5, 134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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