neuroptera

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Libelloides macaronius

…is a species of Ascalaphine (Split-eyed) owlfly which occurs throughout parts of Europe and Asia. Like other owlflies L. macaronius is an insectivore and will feed on a variety of flying insects. L. macaronius larvae, on the other hand, are antlion-like ambush predators. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Ascalaphidae-Libelloides-L. macaronius

Images: Sebaho and Srđan Mitić

Mantisfly (Entanoneura sinica, Mantispidae, Neuroptera)

These extraordinary, seemingly prehistoric insects belong to the same order of insects as lacewings and owlflies. They get their name from their mantis-like appearance, as their spiny “raptorial” front legs are modified to catch small insect prey and are very similar to the front legs of mantids. The adults are predatory insects that are often nocturnal.



The larvae of the subfamily Mantispinae (to which this individual belongs) seek out female spiders or their egg sacs which they then enter; the scarabaeiform larvae then feed on the spider eggs, draining egg contents through a piercing/sucking tube formed by modified mandibles and maxillae, pupating in the egg sac.
First-instar mantispids use two strategies to locate spider eggs: larvae may burrow directly through the silk of egg sacs they find, or they may board and be carried by female spiders prior to sac production, entering the sac as it is being constructed.

(attracted to MV night light)

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

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Thread-winged Lacewing (Nemoptera bipennis)

Also known as the wood fairy, the thread-winged lacewing is a species of spoonwing or antlion native to the Iberian Peninsula in Europe. Thread-winged lacewings are mainly active during the day and adults will feed on flowers. They are noted for their long hind wing prolongations which serve as in-flight stabilizers.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Nemopteridae-Nemoptera-N.bipennis

Images: Tino Garcia de la Cruz and Ingeborg van Leeuwen

This insect, which seems a mixture of dragonflies and butterflies, is Nemoptera bipennis (Neuroptera - Nemopteridae).

The Neuroptera are characterized by having a pair of membranous forewings heavily veined, typically colored with green and straw white; and vestigial hindwings (no ability to fly) reduced to a narrow band with three longitudinal ribs which expand at the end forming a corkscrew [1].

Nemoptera bipennis is commonly named the Wood Fairy or Thread-winged-Lacewing, known as Duende in Spanish which translates as an elf or a fairy.

This species is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and not very common; only two other species of the genus can be found in southeastern Europe [2].

Photo credit: ©Gigi Sebastian Rusel

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Wasp Mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea)

…a species of wasp-mimicking mantidfly that is native to most of North America. Although it may look similar to a mantis C.burnnea is not a mantis and is more closely related to lacewings and other neuropterans. Like other mantidflies this species is a predator and will feed on other insects. Although they are also known to feed on nectar and sap as well.

Mantidflies presumably breed in spring and are often found fields with flowers. Their larvae are parasitoids of spiders.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Hemerobiiformia-Mantispidae-Climaciella-C.brunnea

Images: Bill Johnson and Tom Murray

Mantis Fly (Mantispidae, Neuroptera)

These extraordinary, seemingly prehistoric insects belong to the same order of insects as lacewings and owlflies. They get their name from their mantis-like appearance, as their spiny “raptorial” front legs are modified to catch small insect prey and are very similar to the front legs of mantids. The adults are predatory insects that are often nocturnal.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

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Wasp Mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea)

The wasp mantidfly is a strong mimic of paper wasps. The body is of similar size, generally of the same brown coloration with yellow band markings, and the wings are dusky. However, it is readily distinguishable by the narrow prothorax and grasping forelegs, reminiscent of a mantid. Wasp mantidfly adults emerge in late spring and fly to trees and shrubs where they feed on small insects and drink plant ooze. After mating, the females lay hundreds of eggs on leaves, often in long rows. The first stage larvae that hatch remain on the leaves and wait for a passing spider, to which they readily attach. The entire life cycle takes a year to complete.

Information source

Photographs by Miles ZhangScott King, and TGIQ

Porismus strigatus

…is a strikingly marked species of Osmyloid lacewing (Osmylidae) which is native to Australia, where it typically occurs in the southeastern portion of the continent. Like other members of its family Porismus strigatus is likely a predator, which feeds mainly on small invertebrates, but will occasionally take pollen as well. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Hemerobiiformia-Osmyloidea-Osmylidae-Porismus-P. strigatus

Image: Donald Hobern

Neuroptera

This little guy is from the family Chrysopidae of the order Neuroptera, but is more commonly known as a Green Lacewing.  So whats so cool about these insects? They have ears in their wings.

Ears. In their wings.

Located in the larger veins of their forewings, these tympanal organs (technical hoodoo name for insect ears) allow them to hear the ultrasonic calls of bats.  This means they can make a quick getaway before bats have a chance to turn them into guano.

Owlfly Larva (Ascalaphidae, Neuroptera)

Owlflies are one of the “ugly ducklings” of insects. The grotesque larvae are voracious predators in leaf litter and on trees. They sit and wait for prey to stray in between their oversize mandibles, seizing them and feeding on the body liquids within.

Larvae are similar to antlion larvae, but are usually more flattened, and do not build pits to capture prey. The sides of the larval body have finger-like lateral processes on both thorax and abdomen. The mandibles have more than one large tooth on the inner margin.



Even more astonishing than the larvae is what they become as adults having emerged from pupating in a spherical cocoon in the leaf litter……



The adults are elegant strong-flying insects which are sometimes confused with dragonflies. They can be distinguished from other lacewings and similar insects by the long antennae (almost as long as the wing length) which have a large often bi-coloured club at the tip. As with most other lacewings the wing veins fork where they meet the margin of the wing. The local species are regularly disturbed during the day when walking through bushes and are quite active during the daylight hours but will also be attracted to lights at night.

Both adults and larvae are predators. Adults tackle flying insects in much the same way that dragonflies do. Larvae are sit-and-wait predators of many invertebrates, although they will move in response to nearby movement of potential prey to assist in prey capture.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

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Green Mantisfly (Zeugomantispa minuta)

…a species of mantisfly (a family of neuropteran insects) that occurs central and eastern North America down through Central America to Venezuela. They are active from late spring through fall and like other mantisflies they are predators and will feed on other insects. Their larvae are also parasitoids of spiders.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Neuroptera-Hemerobiiformia-Mantispidae-Zeugomantispa-Z. minuta

Images: Derek Hauffe and Roar