For educational purposes:--
Information on the basics of Entomology
An Introduction To The Study of Entomology 1
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda: Class: Insecta: Order: Neuroptera
Please CLICK on underlined categories to view and on included illustrations to enlarge:
Depress Ctrl/F to search for subject matter:
There are two pairs of large, broad wings, the posterior ones having a large anal field. The longitudinal veins branch freely and cross-veins are common, especially behind the anterior border. A pterostigma or pigmented area located laterally on the anterior border is either missing or weakly defined. At rest the wings are held over the back in a roof-like manner.
Suborder Raphidiodea: are insects of small size. They have two pairs of similar hyaline wings with freely branching longitudinal veins and a well-marked pterostigma are characteristic. The head projects forwards and is flattened above and narrowed toward the prothoracic junction. This, together with the elongated sub-cylindrical prothorax and the elongated 10th segment of the abdomen, gives them the name "Snakeflies." The larvae are terrestrial. Raphidia is Northern European
Suborder Planipennia (Lacewings and Ant lions): There is a wide range of form and size in this group, both very large and very small insects included. There is also much variation in the wings because in some forms, e.g. Ithone, the two pairs of wings are identical while in others, e.g. Nemoptera, the posterior ones are elongated to narrow strap-like structures several times larger than the body. However, all except the small Coniopterygidae agree in having an abundantly branching venation with many cross-veins. Metamorphosis is complete.
The name Neuroptera means, "nerve-winged." They have complete metamorphosis and their wings are developed internally. The larvae are either aquatic or terrestrial, e.g., the Dobsonfly has aquatic larvae while ant and aphis lions have terrestrial larvae.
The larvae have chewing mouthparts but feed by sucking. They possess a pincher-like mandible with opposing maxillae. The mandible is grooved, the maxilla acting as a cover. Together they form a food channel that connects with the mouth cavity.
Green lacewing larvae are important aphid predators.
Pupation occurs on land and the pupae are active. The adult possesses large mandibles also, while the wing venation is similar to the damselfly (Odonata). All Neuroptera have knobbed antennae.
Ant lions may live several years, especially if food is not too plentiful. The adults are either predators or nonfeeding. Many species are highly beneficial as predators of destructive insects. The eggs are laid on a stalk as a protection from predation by other members of the same species. At first the eggs are laid in the prone position, but they later spring up.
There are some modifications within the order. Some adults possess raptorial legs. Sialidae larvae have gills on the abdomen, which are located laterally and are segmented.
Neuroptera show some affinities with other groups such as Coleoptera to which they are closely related.
Some of the common families of Neuroptera are distinguished according to their shapes and habits as follows (see Borror et al. 1989 for details):
25 mm. damselflies with long, narrow, many-veined wings and a long slender abdomen.
Generally included in the Ithonidae.