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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]

 

 

2

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

 

3

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

 

4

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

 

23

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

 

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

 

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

 

5

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

 

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

 

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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>

 

6

5b. Not as previous (5a)

 

7

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

 

19

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

 

8

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

 

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

 

9

8a.  Front legs not raptorial

 

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

 

10

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

 

12

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

 

11

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

13

12b.  Not as previous (12a)

 

14

13a.  Ocelli absent

 

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

 

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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>

 

15

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

 

16

15a  Vertex flattened

 

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

 

17

16a.  Costal cross veins not forked

 

18

16b.  Costal cross veins forked

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

20

19b.  Wings much narrower than above

 

21

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

 

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

 

22

21a.  Antennae about as long as head and thorax

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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