Osmylid Lacewings
Mantid Lacewing I
Mantid Lacewing II
Mantid Lacewing III  
Brown Lacewings
Golden Eye Lacewing
Citrus Mealybug Predator
Blue Eyes Lacewing
Diamond-banded Lacewing
Green-black Dotted L'wing 
Green Large Lacewing
Orange Antlion
Common Brown Antlion
Angular-wing Lacewing
Mottled Brown Lacewing
Banded Lacewing
Brown Line Lacewing
Slender Brown Lacewing
Mottled Black Lacewing
Silver Giant Lacewing
Black Giant Lacewing 
Yellow Owl-fly
Cloudy-wings Owl-fly
Common Owl-fly
Black Owl-fly
Lyriform Owl-fly 
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Lacewings, Antlions and Owl Flies   - Order Neuroptera

This page contains pictures and information about Lacewings, Antlions and Owl Flies in Order Neuroptera that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Lacewing Adult 
Lacewings, Antlions and Owl Flies are insects belonged to the Order Neuroptera. Adults  in this insect order have two pairs of transparent wings about the same size.  Their wings are large and membranous with complex vein pattern, although they are not very good flier. Their bodies are long and soft. They have the biting and chewing mouthparts. They are the predators on other insects. Their body size range from very small 5mm to very large 150mm. 
The adults insects have two pairs of lace wings. They have two pairs of large to very large eyes with cerci absent. When fly, they may be mistaken as dragonflies. When rest, their wings fold on their back as a tent-like shape which dragonflies never do. They can also be distinguished by their pair of long to very long antenna while dragonflies' are very short. 
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Lacewings develop in complete metamorphosis, with egg, larvae, pupa and adult states. Most of them lay eggs on leafs or stalks. Eggs are either in rows or in 'U' shaped arrangement. Some species larvae are active predators while some are in parasites forms. Larvae are 3-5 instars stages. More general information about Lacewings, Antlions and Owl Flies in Order Neuroptera can be found in the Biology page.
Although the Lacewings order is not a very large insect order, we found many species in Brisbane. They are listed as below.

Family Osmylidae - Osmylid Lacewings
The Lacewings have the steel blue coloured wings with white patterns. The abdomen is brown covered by its wings. Their head is orange in colour, antenna in filiform. Their larvae are long and slender, with elongated spear-like jaws, hunt under bark. Their eggs are not stalked. We found only one species in this family.
Family Mantispidae - Mantid Lacewings
The Mantid Lacewings are sometimes known as Mantis Flies. Their forelegs, head and thorax look like Mantid. They have the typical clear membranous wings. They can be found easily in bush. Sometime the attached to house by window lights. They are active predators, chasing prey with their spiny forelegs.
Family Hemerobiidae - Brown Lacewings
Most species in this family are pale brown in colour and small in size. Antenna usually same length as forewings. 
Family Chrysopidae - Green Lacewings
Those Green Lacewings are common in gardens and bush-lands. Their bodies are long and green in colour. Adults have a slow, fluttering flight. They usually feed on nectar. When rest, they like to hide under the bottom side of the leaf. The Green Lacewings lay their eggs in group on leafs. They are commonly seen in garden plants.
Family Nymphidae Large Lacewings
They have two pair of transparent wings of about equal size. When flying, may mistaken they are dragonflies. But their wings are fold in tent shape whish is different from dragonflies and damselflies. They can also distinguished by their long antenna.
Family Myrmeleontidae - Antlions
Antlions is the common name given to the larvae of  those insects. The adults have shout antenna. The larvae build sand traps to trap the ants walk by. The Antlions sit at the middle of the trap and covered by sands. When an ant walk inside the trap, it flicks more sands to the ant and cause the 'land sliding'. The ant then fall and the Antlions attack the ant by its long jaws.
Family Ascalaphidae - Owl-flies
The Owlfly has the long and clubbed antenna, otherwise it looks like a dragonfly. Adults in this family are from medium to large size. When rest, their abdomen is extended above the stem that they are sitting on while their wings hanging downwards.  Adults are predator, hunting insects in flight. Usually they are active during the day.

1. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, pp 525.
2. Lacewings - by Charlma Phillips, Forest Health Scientist, Forest Insects, ForestrySA, 1993.
3. Order NEUROPTERA, Ant-lions, Lacewings - Australian Faunal Directory, Australian Biological Resources Study.
4. A revision of the Australian Mantispidae (Insecta : Neuroptera) with a contribution to the classification of the family. I. General and Drepanicinae - KJ Lambkin, Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 34(116) 1 - 142, 1986.
5. A revision of the Australian Mantispidae (Insecta : Neuroptera) with a contribution to the classification of the family. II.* Calomantispinae and Mantispinae - KJ Lambkin, Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 34(117) 1 - 113, 1986. 
6. Northern Territory Insects, A Comprehensive Guide CD - Graham Brown, 2009.  

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[ Home ] Lacewings, Antlions and Owl Flies Biology ] Osmylidae ] Mantispidae ] Hemerobiidae ] Chrysopidae ] Nymphidae ] Myrmeleontinae ] Stilbopteryginae ] Ascalaphidae ]


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Last updated: June 10, 2012.