Neuropterans: All You Need to Know – A Quick Guide to These Fascinating Insects

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Neuropterans are a fascinating group of insects that belong to the order Neuroptera, which includes lacewings, antlions, mantisflies, and owlflies among other lesser-known species. These insects are mainly terrestrial, with the exception of larval spongillaflies that feed on fresh-water sponges Order Neuroptera – ENT 425 – General Entomology. Known for their unique characteristics and intriguing behaviors, Neuropterans continue to captivate the interest of entomologists and nature enthusiasts alike.

Lacewings are perhaps the most recognized members within this order, identifiable by their delicate and intricately veined wings. Antlions, on the other hand, are known for their larvae, which create pitfall traps in the soil to capture prey. Mantisflies, as their name suggests, have a mantis-like appearance combined with features of a fly, while owlflies are easily mistaken for dragonflies due to their large, clubbed antennae and forward-facing eyes.

In addition to their diverse appearances, Neuropterans also exhibit a range of behaviors and provide various ecological benefits. For example, many lacewing species are considered beneficial insects, as their larvae feed on common garden pests such as aphids, ultimately helping to maintain a balanced ecosystem.

Overview of Neuropterans

Basic Characteristics

Neuropterans are a group of insects belonging to the order Neuroptera. They include:

  • Lacewings
  • Antlions
  • Mantisflies
  • Owlflies

Some key features of Neuropterans are:

  • Two pairs of membranous wings
  • Prominent, compound eyes
  • Long, slender antennae

Neuropterans can be further divided into two suborders: Hemerobiiformia and Myrmeleontiformia.

Neuroptera Order Classification

The classification of the order Neuroptera consists of:

  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Neuroptera
Hemerobiiformia Myrmeleontiformia
Common Name Green Lacewings, Brown Lacewings, etc. Antlions, Owlflies, etc.
Larval Stage Predacious, prey on aphids and other pests Predacious, construct pitfall traps for prey
Wing Pattern Usually have many cross veins in wings Have fewer cross veins in wings

Common Types and Families

Antlions

Antlions, belonging to the family Myrmeleontidae, are known for their predatory larvae. These larvae create pitfall traps in the soil to catch prey.

Lacewings

Lacewings, from the family Chrysopidae, are beneficial insects. They feed on pests like aphids, providing natural pest control.

Snakeflies

Snakeflies belong to the order Raphidioptera. They are characterized by their elongated heads and predatory feeding habits.

Dobsonflies

Dobsonflies are part of the order Megaloptera. These insects have distinctive large wings and powerful mandibles.

Spongillaflies

Spongillaflies, from the family Sisyridae, are unique in the Neuroptera order. Their larvae feed on fresh-water sponges.

Alderflies

Alderflies also belong to the order Megaloptera. They have a dark body color and aquatic larvae.

Fishflies

Fishflies, another group in the order Megaloptera, share similarities with alderflies. They possess aquatic larvae and dark-colored adult bodies, too.

Comparison Table

Insect Group Order/Family Predatory Larvae Aquatic Larvae
Antlions Myrmeleontidae Yes No
Lacewings Chrysopidae Yes No
Snakeflies Raphidioptera Yes No
Dobsonflies Megaloptera Yes Yes
Spongillaflies Sisyridae (Neuroptera) Yes No, feed on fresh-water sponges
Alderflies Megaloptera Yes Yes
Fishflies Megaloptera Yes Yes

Physical Characteristics

Wings

Neuropterans have two pairs of membranous wings, with a complex network of veins. These wings are:

  • Usually transparent
  • Similar in size and shape
  • Held roof-like over their bodies

Mandibles

Neuropteran larvae have strong, heavily sclerotized mandibles, suited for:

  • Grasping
  • Piercing
  • Sucking prey

Abdomen

The abdomen of neuropterans contains important organs such as the reproductive and digestive systems. The abdomen is:

  • Long
  • Slender

Antennae

Neuropterans have long and slender antennae, which help:

  • Navigate
  • Locate food sources

Legs

The legs of neuropterans are adapted for walking and capturing prey, featuring:

  • Spines
  • Claws

Eyes

Neuropterans have large compound eyes, enabling them to:

  • Detect prey
  • Navigate the environment

Digestive and Excretory Systems

Neuropterans have a complete digestive system, consisting of:

  • Foregut
  • Midgut
  • Hindgut

Their excretory systems use Malpighian tubules for:

  • Waste removal
  • Fluid balance

Behavior and Ecology

Predatory Adaptations

Neuropterans are known for their predatory nature, with most larval species feeding on a variety of soft-bodied insects. Predators commonly target:

  • Aphids
  • Mites
  • Scale insects

Larvae possess specialized pincers for seizing their prey, and some species have developed unique techniques to capture them. For example, antlion larvae use a combination of sand and silk to construct pits that trap unsuspecting insects.

Camouflage Techniques

To avoid detection from predators and facilitate prey capture, neuropterans apply various camouflage strategies, such as:

  • Blending in with their surroundings (e.g., bark, sand)
  • Mimicking the appearance of other insects (e.g., dobsonflies resembling terrestrial and fresh-water sponges)

The green lacewing is an excellent example that uses its transparent wings and green body to blend in with foliage.

Reproductive and Developmental Strategies

Neuropterans undergo a complete metamorphosis, featuring four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Reproduction and development involve:

  • Adults laying eggs on host plants where prey is abundant
  • Larvae feeding voraciously to gather energy for the pupal stage
  • Pupating within a secure cocoon
  • Emerging as fully formed adults

Below is a comparison table highlighting the differences between two common neuropteran species:

Feature Green Lacewing Antlion
Prey Aphids, mites, scale insects Ants, other small insects
Camouflage Transparent wings and green body to blend with foliage Mimics terrestrial and fresh-water sponges
Reproduction Eggs laid on host plants Eggs laid near sandy pit area
Unique Technique N/A Constructs pit from sand and silk to trap insects

Neuropterans play a vital role in controlling pest populations, not only benefiting agriculture but also ecosystems. Some species feed on nectar and pollen and may act as pollinators.

Distribution and Habitat

Global Diversity

Neuropterans, also known as the order Neuroptera, include a variety of species such as lacewings, antlions, mantisflies, and owlflies. They are:

  • Commonly found worldwide
  • Present in multiple families
  • Versatile species that inhabit diverse habitats

Preferred Habitats

Neuropteran insects can be found in various environments, including the following:

  • Trees: Many species of neuropterans like lacewings can be found on trees.
  • Ground: Some insects like antlions thrive on the ground, creating traps for ants.
  • Health and ecology: These insects play a vital role in maintaining the health of ecosystems by controlling pest populations, such as ants.

In general, neuropterans prefer habitats that offer a balance between the availability of prey and suitable nesting locations.

Neuropteran Family Details

Green Lacewings

Green lacewings, also known as Chrysopidae, are beneficial insects that help control harmful pests like aphids and mites. Some key characteristics of green lacewings include:

  • Delicate, translucent green wings
  • Long, slender antennae
  • Bright golden eyes

Adults feed on nectar, pollen, and honeydew, while their larvae are voracious predators of pests.

Brown Lacewings

Brown lacewings, belonging to the Hemerobiidae family, are similar to green lacewings in their role as predators of harmful insects.

  • Brown or fawn-colored wings
  • Shorter antennae compared to green lacewings
  • Veiny wing pattern

They mostly consume aphids, making them valuable for pest control in gardens and agricultural settings.

Mantispidae

Also known as mantidflies Mantispidae are unique Neuropterans, characterized by:

  • Raptorial front legs, similar to praying mantises
  • Wings with characteristic patterns
  • Predatory larvae and adults

Larvae primarily feed on spider eggs while adults prey on various small insects.

Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs are the larval stage of antlions which belong to the Myrmeleontidae family. They are known for their unique predatory behavior:

  • Create conical pitfall traps in sandy soil to capture small insects
  • Flick sand at trapped prey, preventing escape
  • Larvae have large, curved mandibles for grabbing prey

Ascalaphidae

Ascalaphidae, commonly known as owlflies, are members of the Neuroptera order with:

  • Long, clubbed antennae
  • Prominent, owl-like eyes
  • Aerial predators

Both adult owlflies and their larvae are predators, feeding on a variety of small insects.

Sisyridae

The Sisyridae family consists of unique Neuropterans known as spongillaflies, with the following characteristics:

  • Larvae that feed on freshwater sponges, nickname: Spongilla-foss
  • Two pairs of membranous wings with dark markings
  • Adults feed on small insects

They are important for maintaining the balance in aquatic ecosystems by preying on sponge populations.

Family Lacewings Mantispidae Doodlebugs Ascalaphidae Sisyridae
Primary Diet Aphids, mites Small insects Small insects Small insects Freshwater sponges
Habitat Terrestrial Terrestrial Sandy soil Terrestrial Aquatic (larvae), terrestrial (adults)
Color Green, brown Variable Sandy color Variable with bold wing markings Variable with dark wing markings

Lesser-Known Neuropteran Families

Berothidae

Berothidae, commonly known as beaded lacewings, comprise a small family of insects. They are characterized by:

  • Delicate appearance
  • Beaded antennae
  • Predatory behavior in both larvae and adult form

Coniopterygidae

Coniopterygidae, or dustywings, are a minute group of insects. Key features include:

  • Small size
  • Powdery white appearance
  • Wings held roof-like over the body

They are beneficial insects that prey on aphids and other small pests.

Dilaridae

Dilaridae, known as pleasing lacewings, have distinct characteristics:

  • Slender body
  • Long, hair-like antennae

They inhabit wooded areas and are predators of small arthropods.

Ithonidae

Ithonidae, or moth lacewings, resemble moths and have:

  • Large, rounded wings
  • Brown or grayish coloration

Their larvae are predatory and feed on small insects.

Nemopteridae

Nemopteridae, called spoon-winged lacewings, feature elongated hind wings that resemble spoons. They are mostly found in arid regions and prey on small insects.

Neurorthidae

Neurorthidae, also called grass lacewings, are small and green. They inhabit grassy habitats and are known for their predatory larval stage.

Nymphidae

Nymphidae are a small group of neuropterans called butterfly lacewings. They possess brightly colored wings and share similar habitats with butterflies.

Osmylidae

Osmylidae, or giant lacewings, are larger neuropterans with:

  • Broad wings
  • Prominent veins

Their larvae are aquatic and feed on other aquatic insects.

Polystoechotidae

Polystoechotidae, termed giant lacewings, are similar in appearance to Osmylidae. However, they can be distinguished by the presence of more complex wing venation.

Psychopsidae

Psychopsidae, known as silky lacewings, are characterized by having:

  • Silky wing texture
  • Unique wing venation patterns

They are found in wooded areas and prey on small arthropods.

Raphidiodea

Raphidiodea, or snakeflies, are a diverse group in the Neuropterida clade. They have:

  • Elongated necks, resembling a snake
  • Membranous wings
  • A predatory lifestyle, targeting small insects
Family Common Name Characteristics Habitat
Berothidae Beaded Lacewings Delicate, beaded antennae, predatory Various
Coniopterygidae Dustywings Small, powdery, roof-like wings Various
Dilaridae Pleasing Lacewings Slender, hair-like antennae Wooded areas
Ithonidae Moth Lacewings Large, rounded wings, brown/gray Various
Nemopteridae Spoon-winged Lacewings Elongated hind wings Arid regions
Neurorthidae Grass Lacewings Small, green Grassy habitats
Nymphidae Butterfly Lacewings Brightly colored wings Various
Osmylidae Giant Lacewings Broad wings, prominent veins Aquatic environments
Polystoechotidae Giant Lacewings Complex wing venation Various
Psychopsidae Silky Lacewings Silky wing texture, unique venation Wooded areas
Raphidiodea Snakeflies Elongated neck, membranous wings Various

Interaction with Humans

Neuropterans as Biological Control Agents

Neuropterans, particularly larvae of lacewings and antlions, are effective biocontrol agents due to their predatory nature. They consume pests like aphids, mites, and other insects, which helps in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and protecting crops.

  • Pros: Reduced reliance on chemical pesticides, eco-friendly, and promotes crop health
  • Cons: May be less effective in large-scale agriculture, need for constant monitoring

For example, the green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) is often used in gardens and greenhouses to control aphids.

Health and Ecological Benefits

Neuropterans also contribute to the health and ecology of our environments by:

  • Preying on pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides
  • Supporting the reproductive systems of plants through pollination, as some adult Neuropterans feed on nectar and pollen
  • Being an essential part of the food chain for larger predators like birds, frogs, and bats

Potential Risks of Neuropterans

While primarily beneficial, there might be some risks of introducing Neuropterans as biocontrol agents, such as the possibility of upsetting the ecological balance or potentially harming other non-target species.

Species Biocontrol Agent Ecological Benefit Potential Risk
Green Lacewing Yes Yes Minor impact on non-target species
Antlion Yes Yes Minimal risk due to the selective predation on specific prey
Ascophora ovalis No Unknown Unknown
Coleoptera (beetles) Not a Neuropteran N/A N/A

In conclusion, Neuropterans serve vital roles in ecosystems as biological control agents and are generally beneficial to human endeavors. However, responsible management and monitoring are essential when introducing these insects to new environments to prevent potential risks.

Related Insects

Snakefly Relatives

Snakeflies are fascinating insects that belong to the order Raphidioptera. They have elongated bodies and can be mistaken for damselflies at times. Some common relatives include:

  • Mantispids: Also known as mantisflies, these insects are part of the Neuroptera order and resemble praying mantises due to their raptorial forelegs.
  • Spiders: Although not insects, spiders share a common predatory behavior with snakeflies.

Silky and Split-Footed Lacewings

Both silky and split-footed lacewings belong to the Neuroptera order. These insects are known for their delicate wings and intricate wing venation.

  • Silky lacewings: Part of the family Psychopsidae, they are characterized by their silky appearance and feed on small insects and plants.
  • Split-footed lacewings: Belonging to the Nymphidae family, these insects have a unique foot structure that differentiates them from other lacewings.
Feature Silky Lacewing Split-Footed Lacewing
Family Psychopsidae Nymphidae
Wings Silky Delicate, split-foot

Spoonwings

  • Spoonwings, also known as Nemopteridae, are another group of insects within the Neuroptera order.
  • Characterized by their elongated hind wings, which resemble spoons or streamers, they are often found in arid regions and feed on small insects.

As you can see, the Neuroptera order is home to a diverse group of insects, including snakefly relatives, silky and split-footed lacewings, and spoonwings. All of these insects exhibit unique characteristics and play various roles in their respective ecosystems.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Mystery Australian Neuropteran Eggs are Blue Eyed Lacewing Eggs

 

Whose eggs are these?
Hullo,
I wonder if you can help me identify the creature from whom came these eggs? I found them under a pallet (in East coast Australia).
Thanks
Grev

Hi Grev,
We have no idea, but we are excited to create a new Egg page. We sometimes get requests for egg identification and we are rarely able to identify them. Maybe somewone will write in with the answer.

Good morning and thanks for your reply. I am a little closer to an answer about the eggs. “Order Neuroptera: In about half the families, eggs are laid on thin stalks, either in rows or in a “U” shaped cluster, attached to wood or leaves.” (A Field Guide to Insects In Australia by Zborowski & Storey). I suppose we can rule out lacewings (we have plenty of those), as they lay their eggs singly. Other Neuroptera around here are Mantis Flies and Antlions Regards,
Grev.

Update:  January 19, 2015
These are the Eggs of a Blue Eyed Lacewing.

Letter 2 – Hatchling Blue Eyes Lacewings, possibly

 

Subject: What is this?!
Location: NSW Australia
March 7, 2016 8:05 pm
Hi, I just found this on my ceiling. Can anyone identify it?
I honestly don’t even know if its a bug, it looks like it though haha
Please help!
Signature: Bianca

Possibly Blue Eyes Lacewing Hatchlings
Possibly Blue Eyes Lacewing Hatchlings

Dear Bianca,
These are hatchling Neuropterans, possibly Blue Eyes Lacewing hatchlings.  The hatchlings are such gregarious hunters that the members of the order Neuroptera have adapted to laying eggs on filaments so that the hatchlings do not eat one another.

Letter 3 – Camouflaged Neuropteran Larva from Australia

 

Subject: Scary bug!
Location: NSW, Australia
January 8, 2014 12:59 am
Hi!
I found this bug in my bathroom just the other day thinking it was a piece of fluff or dust i just left it be. Although the next day when i noticed it walking i was a little worried. It seems to have rather large fang looking things?
And chance you know what he may be?
Signature: Emma

Camouflaged Neuropteran Larva:  Owlfly, Antlion or other???
Camouflaged Neuropteran Larva: Owlfly, Antlion or other???

Dear Emma,
What we know for certain is that this is the camouflaged larva of a Neuropteran, a member of the order that included Lacewings, Antlions and Owlflies.  In North America, there are many Lacewing Larvae that utilize this style of camouflage, but the mandibles on your individual look much larger.  We found this previously posted, but still unidentified camouflaged Neuropteran Larva in our archives.  The Owlfly Larvae pictured on the Brisbane Insect website have similar mandibles, but no camouflage.  The Antlion Larva pictured on the Brisbane Insect website also has similar mandibles, but again, no camouflage.
  The best we can provide at this time is that this is the camouflaged Larva of an insect in the order Neuroptera.  Hopefully, we will eventually determine a family, genus or even species identity.

 

Letter 4 – Dooble Bugs

 

Hi! When I lived in Alabama as a child there was a bug that lived in the ground that we call a "doodlebug" or a "pinchin bug" because of the big pinchers it had…..it would burrow straw sized holes and back into it…..we as kids would put broom straw in the hole and wait until it started to wiggle then jerk the straw out and hanging from it by it’s pinchers would be the ugliest meanest looking little bug/worm thing less than an inch long. What was it?
Stacey

Hi Stacey,
Your Doodle Bugs are the larvae of Ant Lions, Family Myrmeleontidae, winged insects that resemble Lacewings.

Letter 5 – Eric Eaton's conclusion:

 

(12/26/2005)
” Oh, my! Neither one. I’d be willing to bet it is the larva of an owlfly (Ascalaphidae). Overall appearance, and behavior, are right for that family. Hesitate to be conclusive because there are other families of Neuroptera in that part of the world that are not represented in North America. Still, I”m reasonably confident that is what it is. Cool! Eric”

Letter 6 – It's a Bug, It's a Leaf, It's a Fossil

 

http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/11/its-a-bug-its-a-leaf-its-a-fossil/

Letter 7 – Neuropteran Larva from Australia

 

Subject: HELP! what’s that bug?
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
August 8, 2015 5:46 am
Hi, I was laying in bed when I noticed this small thing moving along my bed sheet. So I grabbed it with a bit of tissue and took it to the toilet where I was to dispose of it. But I was interested and wanted to know what it was so I took it out of the tissue and noticed its back was flaking off like a weak piece of bark.
It is currently winter (Augest)
I also was in the garden earlier that day.
I also moved and cleaned everything in my room.
in the third photo the bug is upside down.
Thank you for your time.
Signature: sebastian

Neuropteran Larva
Neuropteran Larva

Dear Sebastian,
This is a predatory Neuropteran larva, and we suspect it was a hitchhiker from your day in the garden.  What flaked off might have been a piece of bark or other plant detritus that the larva used for the purposes of camouflage.  You can read more about Australian Neuropterans on the Brisbane Insect site.

Letter 8 – Nymphes myrmeleonides

 

Neuroptera eggs
Dear WTB,
Further to the photo of the eggs posted on 19th January this year. Some similar eggs have just hatched on the underside of my verandah roof. The larvae have been milling about for a couple of days, but presumably will soon disperse. Those pincers look rather fearsome!

I have discovered they belong to a member of the family Nymphidae, probably Nymphes myrmeleonides, an insect I had seen previously around the garden. So, here are the larvae and the adult: Kind regards and thanks for your fascinating website,
Grev

Hi Again Grev,
Thank you so much for the fascinating follow-up and the wonderful photos.

Letter 9 – Possibly Immature Neuropteran from Australia

 

What am i
Location:  Melbourne australia
July 18, 2010 2:38 am
I took a pic of what seams to be some sort of nimph?
eexxxss

Larval Neuropteran, we suspect

Dear eexxxss,
The glaring dearth of information you have provided us is astounding.  What size was it?  What was the habitat like where it was found?  We suspect that this is a larval Neuropteran, and it most closely resembles the larva of a Green Lacewing in the family Chrysopidae.  You can compare your images to some of the ones on the Brisbane Insect website.

Larval Neuropteran, we believe

Letter 10 – Duskywing, NOT Zorapteran

 

Subject:  Insect found in deadwood
Geographic location of the bug:  Ontario, Canada
Date: 01/15/2019
Time: 02:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I’ve been analyzing insect emerging from deadwood. This is the only one I have difficulty identifying to the even the order level. It emerged from pine that had been left to rot for one year. It emerged in early summer. The images were taken using my camera phone thorough a stereo microscope on max zoom. It has 4 wings, its antennae are segmented and longer than its body. It looks like some weird cross between strepsiptera(too big) and bark lice (different face shape). Even order level identification would be much appreciated. Thanks 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  PJ

Duskywing

Dear PJ,
The four wings definitely eliminates any of the Flies in the order Diptera.  We decided to browse BugGuide prior to requesting assistance on this identification, and at first we thought this might be a Zorapteran from the order Zoraptera, which would represent a new Insect order for our site.  Here is a beautiful drawing from BugGuide and here is an image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Tiny, gregarious insects found in decaying wood.  Wingless and winged forms occur in both sexes. 4 membranous wings with much reduced venation. Antennae moniliform and 9-segmented. Wingless forms lack compound eyes and ocelli, but winged forms have both. Tarsi 2-segmented. Cerci are short and unsegmented. Abdomen, short, oval and 10-segmented.”  Our main cause for doubting that identification is that your images depict many more than 9 segments in the antennae, so we believe this is most likely NOT a Zorapteran, but interestingly, the rest of the description seems accurate.  We will contact Eric Eaton to get his input.  According to NC State University General Entomology:  ” Zoraptera is the third smallest insect order.  Only Mantophasmatodea and Grylloblattodea contain fewer species.  Some species of Zoraptera have been found living in the nests of termites and mammals.  No one is sure what these insects are doing there.  In most Zoraptera, there are two forms of adults: winged individuals are usually brown in color and have both eyes and ocelli, wingless individuals are usually blind and pale (unpigmented) in color.”  Perhaps one of our readers will have a suggestion.

Duskywing

Eric Eaton Responds.
Wow.  I think you might be on the right track with Zoraptera, actually.  Otherwise, maybe a male scale insect.  I do not have enough expertise in either of those to have a better clue.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Update:  January 23, 2019
Hey Daniel,
I was able to id it to a dusty wing genus in neoptera(they don’t have as much netting as lace wings). It has lost its scales which made it more difficult to id. Would have been cool if I found a zoraptera in my 30,700 samples but they are quite rare as you said.
Thanks,
PJ
Dear PJ,
Thanks for letting us know what you determined.  We are linking to the Duskywings in the family Coniopterygidae on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults covered with white waxy powder which gives a granulated appearance to the surface when viewed close-up; wings whitish with reduced venation, and held tent-like over abdomen at rest; antennae long and slender; mouthparts moderately long and beak-like; legs relatively long, especially hindlegs.”  Here is a BugGuide image that somewhat resembles the images you submitted.  How do you explain its emergence from rotting pine?
Update:  January 24, 2019
Hey Daniel,

All the specimen I collected were from emergence traps. Wood was left outside for a year then collected and placed in a PVC pipe with a little opening that led to a vial of ethanol. The lack of scales might be due to it being submerged in ethanol for a few days before being collected. It may have been an unfortunate hitch hiker as a larvae/pupae when we placed the log in the PVC pipe or possibly gotten though the thin mesh we had set up. It is the only individual I have out of 30700 invertebrate samples. I do have about 4 other individuals that look somewhat like this specimen but they are likely a different species or sex(pic attached) as they were found in different logs and later collections.
This is the closest looking individual I could find on bugguide but it’s antennae also differ.
I am hoping to take some better resolution images by borrowing a neighboring labs microscope with a camera attachment.
My prof has managed to get funding for a bar coding plate so this may be one of the individuals I choose to analyze and hopefully it will get a match in a database.
I can send you an image of the close up if you’d be interested if/when I’m able to obtain one.
Thanks,
PJ

Duskywing

That would be great PJ.  We look forward to any updates you might have in the future.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Neuropterans

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Sounds like a tiger-beetle larva to me. They make vertical burrows about the size of a drinking straw. They tend to seem very unhappy about being drawn from their cool, dark, snug little home. Touching the hump on the critter’s back brings about an immediate and vigorous lashing of the head back towards the hump.

    I used to fish for these all the time, also in Alabama. 🙂 Was a nice way to while away a bit of a hot summer afternoon. I always returned my catches to their burrows before moving on.

    I have WTB to thank for learning that these little critters are the precursors of the gorgeously iridescent and very, very fast beetles that I also loved to catch as a kid!

    Reply
  • Also found one of these. Australia, mid north coast nsw. Have photos but dont know how to submit. Very curious, look like lacewings but in odd u-shape cluster.

    Reply

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