Neuroptera (Net-winged Insects)

Neuropterans can be found across most habitats in Australia and 90% of Australian species are endemic (New, 1992).   Most of them are terrestrial, although two families have aquatic larvae.   Neuropterans are considered beneficial due to their predation of other insects.  Adults are diverse in appearance and can range in size from a wing span of  5mm through to 35 mm.  Most are assumed to be predacious although some members of Chrysopidae have been found to be nectar feeders and some other families are omnivorous.

Eggs can be cemented on to vegetation (some families are attached to stalks) or simply scattered on or in soil.  Most families have three larval instars.   Most of the larvae are very active and predacious with a set of protruding jaws.  The pupae are wrapped in a silken cocoon that may incorporate sand or vegetation.

New (1992) stated that the minimum number of Tasmanian Neuropteran species would be 40.

Direct family links A-Z
Chrysopidae  Coniopterygidae Hemerobiidae Ithonidae Mantispidae Nymphidae Myrmeleontidae Osmylidae

Quick Visual Finder

Family Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings)

Family Coniopterygidae (Dusty Wings)
 IMG 9587

Family Hemerobiidae (Brown Lacewings)
IMG 7488 IMG 4478  

Family Ithonidae (Moth Lacewings)
[we have not found this family yet]

Family Mantispidae (Mantis Flies)

Family Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)

Family Nymphidae (Split-footed Lacewings)

Family Osmylidae (Giant Lacewings)

Family Sisyridae (Sponge Flies)
[we have not found this family yet]

Neuroptera Eggs


CSIRO, 1990. Insects of Australia, Volume  2: A Textbook for Students and Research Workers. 2nd Edition. Melbourne University Publishing.

Lambkin, K. J. 1986. A revision of the Australian Mantispidae (Insecta : Neuroptera) with a contribution to the classification of the family. II. Calomantispinae and Mantispinae. Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 117: 1-113.

New, T. R. 1991. ‘Neuroptera (lacewings)’, in The Insects of Australia Volume II, 2nd edn, Brown Prior Anderson Pty Ltd, Burwood, Victoria.

New, T. R. 1992. The lacewings (Insecta, Neuroptera) of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 126: 29-45.