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For educational purposes only; do not review, quote or abstract:--

A Public Service on the basics of Insect Identification



Key to Major Families of Adult NEUROPTERA



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Nearly all neuropterous families have entomophagous stages.  The following key was adapted from Essig (1942a),  Brues, Melander & Carpenter (1954) and Schlinger & Doutt (1964):


[Please refer to <Guide> and <Taxnames> for illustrations]




1a.  Head hypognathous; hind wing not folded fan-like when at rest



1b.  Head prognathous; hind wing folded fan-like when not in use ..... (Sialodea)



2a.  Antennae usually filiform; ovipositor not exserted ..... (Planipennia)



2b.  Antennae setiform; ovipositor exserted ..... (Raphidiodea)



3a.  Ocelli absent; 4th segment of tarsi bilobed ........ Sialidae



3b.  With 3 ocelli present; 4th segment of tarsi not bilobed ......... Corydalidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



4a.  Veins and usually cross veins abundant; wings without whitish powder



4b.  Veins and crossveins less in number; wings covered with whitish powder ........... Coniopterigidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



5a.  Large moth-like species; costal area of fore wing not broad; head small and closely set on prothorax; antennae long, filiform, with 40-50 segments ......... Ithonidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



5b. Not as previous (5a)



6a.  Antennae never enlarged apically, moniliform, filiform, or rarely pectinate



6b.  Antennae at least thickly cylindrical, usually enlarged towards apex



7a.  Hind wings not longer than fore wings, the 2 pairs similar in form and venation



7b.  Hind wings greatly elongated and ribbon-like, often with widened, spoon-like ends .......... Nemopteridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



8a.  Front legs not raptorial



8b.  Front legs raptorial ......... Mantispidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



9a.  Fore wing with 2 or more branches of Rs arising from the apparently fused stems of R1 and Rs



9b.  Fore wing with all branches of Rs arising from a single sector



10a.  Antennae moniliform in both sexes; ocelli absent; ovipositor not exserted



10b.  Antennae pectinate in male; ocellus-like tubercle present; ovipositor exserted ......... Dilaridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



11a.  Fore wing with 3 or more branches of Rs present, veins R4 and R5 arising separately   ......... Hemerobiidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



11b.  Fore wing with apparently 2 radial sectors (Rs), one of which is R2+3 and the other R4+5............ Sympherobiidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



12a.  Large moth-like species; costal area of fore wing very broad; the Sc, R1 and Rs are closely parallel ........ Psychopsidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



12b.  Not as previous (12a)



13a.  Ocelli absent



13b.  Ocelli present .......... Osmylidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



14a.  Humeral cross vein forming a recurrent vein; discal area of wings distinct from costal and marginal areas by series of cross veins; Sc and R1 fused apically .......... Polystoechotidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



14b.  Humeral cross vein not forming a recurrent vein; discal area of wings not differentiated from marginal area



15a  Vertex flattened



15b.  Vertex convex .......... Sisyridae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



16a.  Costal cross veins not forked



16b.  Costal cross veins forked



17a.  Wings of nearly equal width .......... Chrysopidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



17b.  Fore wing distinctly wider than hind wing .......... Apochrysidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



18a.  Fore wing with Sc and R fused before wing tip; seed-like scales often present on wings ......... Berothidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



18b.  Fore wings with Sc and R not fused apically; hairs of body and wing conspicuously long .......... Trichomatidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



19a.  Wings about 1/3rd as wide as long; costal area wide ........ Myiodactylidae   <Habits>; Adults> & <Juveniles>



19b.  Wings much narrower than above



20a.  Antennae more or less distinctly clavate or flattened, subcostal cell without cross veins



20b.  Antennae elongated cylindrical; subcostal area with many cross veins ........ Nymphidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



21a.  Antennae about as long as head and thorax



21b.  Antennae longer, slender and strongly clavate ........ Ascalaphidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



22a.  Antennae weakly clubbed, or flattened apically; body and wings pubescent ......... Myrmeleontidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



22b.  Antennae strongly clubbed; abdomen and wings shiny .......... Stilbopterygidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



23a.  Ocelli present .......... Raphidiidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>



23b.  Ocelli absent .......... Inocellidae   <Habits>; <Adults> & <Juveniles>