Spoonwing Lacewing from Greece

Sciencebase Q&A (from David Bradley)
UPDATE: We think it is: Nemoptera bipennis
Hi Angela
A photographer friend snapped the attached insect. The presence of long
“halteres” suggests it is a member of the diptera family, possibly
related to lacewings…not sure. I am hoping that Daniel will be able to
ID it quickly and give us an excuse to mention his book again 😉
Please let me know as soon as possible


Hi David and Angela,
You are mostly correct.  This is a Spoonwing or Threadwing Lacewing, and it may be
Nemoptera bipennis, though there is no location provided for the photograph.  If the photograph was taken in Europe or Western Asia, the chances are very good it is Nemoptera bipennis.  The error is in the insect order.  Diptera is an order, not a family.  Diptera is the family of Flies, and halteres are the vestigial second pair of wings that are underdeveloped knob-like structures that are believed to serve to stabilize insects in flight.  Most true Flies have halteres, and the name Diptera refers to the fact that most Flies only have two pairs of functioning wings.  The thread or spoon wings on this Lacewing are tails on the hind wings, not halteres.  This Spoonwing belongs to the order Neuroptera, not Diptera.  Hope that helps.

We had a doubter.
Someone reckons N coa ranges across Greece (which is where the photo was taken) whereas N bipennis is Iberia/France…
They look almost identical to my eye…
Any further thoughts welcome, although please don’t be obliged to spend time on this.
Best wishes

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