Antlions Lacewings

and their relatives rp HE ORDER NEUROL TERA includes 117 families and 4,000 species. Its members generally have large compound eyes, chewing mouthparts, and antennae that are usually longer than the head and thorax combined. They also have two pairs of equally sized wings, which arc held rooflike over the body when not in use. The major wing veins arc forked or twigged near the margins.

The adults in this order are mostly predatory, but a few feed on pollen and nectar. Most species hunt either in the evening or after dark.

Metamorphosis is complete. The larvae have curved mouthparts that form a hollow tube, through which the juices of prey are sucked up. After three nymphal stages, larvae pupate inside a fragile silk cocoon.

Order NKUROI'TKRA

Family ASCALAPHIDAK

No. of species ^q owlflies

Large, conspicuous, and sometimes with highly patterned wings, these species arc active mostly after dark and arc often attracted to lights. The gray, black, or red-brown body is elongate, and the antennae have clubbed ends. The wings are pale to smoky, with yellow or darker markings. Adults are agile hunters, actively chasing and seizing prey in the air.

• LIFE Cycle Females lay rows or spirals of up to 50 eggs on twigs or grass stems. The larvae wait on the ground, in leaf-litter, or on tree trunks for suitably sized prey to come along.

• OCCl JRRENCE Worldwide, especially in warm regions. In grassland or warm, dry woodland.

• REMARK Some owlflies look very similar to dragonflies (see pp.53—55), although the resemblance is superficial.

LARVAE are oval and flat, with expansions at the sides of the abdomen. Some have jaws that open very wide.

llbeeeoides coccajijs is a European species with a distinctive wing shape and a large area of black at the bases of the hindwings.

clubbed antennae

- ______wing patterns broad hindwings dark veins

Order NEUROPTERA

Family ChRYSOPIDAE

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