Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Order Neuroptera - Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies

Dustywings - a pastoral encounter - Coniopteryx Myrmeleon of some kind ? - Myrmeleon Furry Antlion Brown Lacewing Unknown Damselfly - Glenurus gratus Black & White Wing Tips - Glenurus gratus Beaded Lacewing - Lomamyia sp? - Lomamyia Mystery Bug
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Other Common Names
net-winged insects, lacewings
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Neuroptera used to be treated by some workers in a broader sense, to include Planipennia (lacewings, antlions, owlflies, etc.), Megaloptera (alderflies, dobsonflies, fishflies), and Raphidioptera/Raphidiodea (snakeflies). Currently these groups are treated as three separate orders of the superorder Neuropterida
Explanation of Names
Neuroptera Linnaeus 1758
'weined wings'
Largest order of the Neuropterida, with at least 11 major families, 4670 spp. worldwide and 338 in our area(1) (there are ca. 400 spp. of Neuropterida in our area(2))
72 spp. in 24 genera of 8 families in BC (Scudder & Cannings 2008)
Overview of our fauna (* = taxa not yet in the guide):
Order Neuroptera
Family Ascalaphidae

Family Chrysopidae
Subfamily Chrysopinae
Family Hemerobiidae
Subfamily Microminae Micromus
Family Mantispidae
Subfamily Symphrasinae Plega
3-80 mm
Superorder Neuropterida:
Four membranous wings: FW and HW about same size or HW a little wider at base;
wings usually held rooflike over body at rest; wings generally with many veins:
Antennae long, many-segmented, threadlike, pectinate or clubbed. Some examples:
Tarsi 5-segmented
Cerci absent
Mouthparts chewing
Some groups with simple eyes (ocelli), others without--useful in distinguishing families
Complete metamorphosis

Order Neuroptera:
Forewings and hindwings similar in size and shape
Prothorax not lengthened, except in Mantispidae
Larvae terrestrial, except in Sisyridae
larvae, and often adults, predaceous
Life Cycle
Neuropterida: Larvae campodeiform (crawler), mandibles usually large. Majority terrestrial but a few aquatic. Larvae usually predaceous. Pupation usually occurs in a silken cocoon.
Neuroptera: Larvae terrestrial, except in the Sisyridae. Typical life cycle:
Many are valuable natural enemies of pests, esp. aphids and some other homopterans
Internet References