AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings (Neuroptera)

Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Africa Wild Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings and Allies (Order: Neuroptera)

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Index to Neuroptera

Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Africa Wild Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings and Allies Index to Order: Neuroptera

The order Neuroptera, collectively known as “lacewings” comprises 17 families worldwide. 13 families are known from South Africa.

Suborder Hemerobiiformia
Superfamily Osmyloidea
Osmylidae (Osmylids, Osmylid Flies)

Superfamily Chrysopoidea
Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings) (formerly in Hemerobioidea)
Chrysoperla sp. Green Lacewing viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=177368#p177368

Superfamily Hemerobioidea
Hemerobiidae (Brown Lacewings)

Superfamily Coniopterygoidea
Coniopterygidae (Dustywings, Dusty Lacewings)
Sisyridae (Spongillaflies, Sponge Flies) (formerly in Osmyloidea, tentatively placed here)

Superfamily Mantispoidea
Dilaridae (Dilarids, Pleasing Lacewings) (formerly in Hemerobioidea)
Mantispidae (Mantid Flies)
Rhachiberothidae (Thorny Lacewings, Mantid-like Berothids)
Berothidae (Beaded Lacewings, Berothids)

Suborder Myrmeleontiformia
Superfamily Nemopteroidea
Psycopsidae (Moth or Silky Lacewings) (formerly in Hemerobioidea)
Silveira jordani Mottled Silky Lacewing viewtopic.php?p=249637#p249637
Nemopteridae (Ribbonwings & Threadwings, Spoon-winged Laceflies, Thread-winged Laceflies )(formerly in Myrmeleontoidea)
Laurhervasia setacea Thread-wing Lacewing viewtopic.php?p=246637#p246637
Nemeura glauningi Spoonwing Lacewing viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=143546#p143546
Semirhynchia brincki Spoonwing viewtopic.php?p=177516#p177516

Superfamily Myrmeleontoidea
Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)
Crambomorphus sp. viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=173941#p173941
Creoleon luteipennis Grassland Antlion viewtopic.php?p=266020#p266020
Creoleon mortifer Grassland Antlion viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&start=10#p178689
Creoleon sp. Antlion viewtopic.php?p=249046#p249046
Creoleon sp. Grassland Antlion viewtopic.php?p=266017#p266017
Creoleon sp. Grassland Antlion viewtopic.php?p=266018#p266018
Cueta sp Antlion (Pit-building or Grassland Antlion) viewtopic.php?p=178758#p178758
Cymothales illustris Tree-hole Antlion viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=177368#p177369
Hagenomyia lethifer Gregarious Antlion viewtopic.php?f=247&p=176031#p176031
Hagenomyia tristis Striped Antlion, Gregarious Antlion viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=185419#p185419
Myrmeleon alcestris Pit-building Antlion viewtopic.php?p=260001#p260001
Neuroleon sp. Antlion viewtopic.php?p=266014#p266014
Syngenes sp Bark Antlion viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=175883#p175883
Ascalaphidae (Owlflies, Ascalaphids)
Tmesibasis lacerata Blotched Long-horned Owlfly viewtopic.php?f=247&t=3223&p=143546#p143549

Lacewing Larva viewtopic.php?f=247&p=149405#p149405
Last edited by ExFmem on Fri May 08, 2015 7:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:47 pm

Spoonwing Lacewing Nemeura sp., possibly Nemeura glauningi
Family: Nemopteridae

Kruger National Park

The NEMOPTERIDAE contains adults with ribbon-like hind wings some of which are ‘spooned’ at the end with white, brown and black markings. The long hindwings usually end in broad twisted dilations that provide aerodynamic stability during flight. They have long antennae that are not clubbed. The mouthparts of adults are elongated into a ‘beak’ to probe flowers for pollen and nectar. Their larvae, of many of which little is known, are predatory, have long necks and live in dust in areas of low rainfall. About 60 (which is most) of the world’s species occur in Namaqualand and the Karoo. Almost 70% of the world fauna is endemic to southern Africa.

The Nemopteridae contain two subfamilies:
Nemopterinae Spoonwings: ribbon-like hindwings, often with broad flairs at the tip, well marked;
Crocinae Threadwings: delicate, hindwings long, threadlike.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Blotched Long-horned Owlfly Tmesibasis lacerata
Family: Ascalaphidae

Image © BluTuna

The ASCALAPHIDAE contains adults with very long antennae with clubbed ends. They generally hold their abdomens at almost right angles to the surface, are often active fliers and predatory with well-developed jaws. They fly rapidly and hawk prey at dusk.
Larvae have strong curved mandibles with teeth. The larvae, which can open their pincer-like jaws to 180 degrees, do not construct pits but live under stones, bark or leaves from where they prey on other insects. They are all ambush predators, and highly cryptic.
There are about 50 species known from the region.

Medium to large (wingspan 70 mm), unmistakable with very long clubbed antennae. It has dark blotches on the wings.

South Africa (Mpumulanga, Northern Province, North-West Province), Mozambique

Links: The Owlflies (Neuroptera: Ascalaphidae) of South Africa

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:48 am

Lacewing Larva

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Lacewings are characterized by several unique larval features:
Mouthparts in which the mandibles and maxillae fit together to form piercing and sucking tubes – the only insects with these specialized features.
The midgut is sealed and no solid waste is excreted during the larval stage.
A silken cocoon is spun from modified malpighian tubules.
All larvae are predators.
Some Lacewing larvae carry debris on their backs to avoid predators.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:58 pm

Antlion Crambomorphus sp.*
Family Myrmeleontidae

* This is a Kalahari endemic, which is currently being described. (Per ADU Virtual Museum Lacewing Project)

The Family Myrmeleontidae is the largest lacewing family, comprising medium to very large (wingspan 26-160 mm) insects that superficially resemble dragonflies, but have short antennae usually ending in a club. Characteristic lazy, flapping flight. Most are attracted to lights in summer and autumn. Almost half the region's 125 species occur in arid western areas.

Image © ExFmem

Very large (wingspan 122 mm), body and legs grey, abdomen orange-red. Hind margin of wing very scalloped, ending in a hooked tip. Fore wings largely grey, with complex black and white markings; hind wings heavily marked in black. Larvae largely black with reddish head.

The large black larvae live freely in sand dunes in the Kalahari ecosystem and come to the surface at night to feed.

Very arid regions with scant vegetation

Predators of lacewings include birds, bats, reptiles, and larger insects.

Image © ExFmem

Image © ExFmem

Image © ExFmem
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari Tented Camp

Image © Tina
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Grootkolk
Last edited by ExFmem on Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:18 pm

Bark Antlion Syngenes sp
Family: Myrmeleontidae

Image © Super Mongoose
Marakele National Park, Bontle campsite's bathroom

There are two genera of "Bark Antlion":
Centroclisis Bark antlions have a wingspan of 84 mm, stout-bodied, grey, hairy, with broad and short wings.
Syngenes Bark antlions are larger (wingspan 102 mm), hairy and less stout than Centroclisis and have more pointy wingtips. Legs and abdomen are banded. The larvae of Syngenes do not construct pits.

Links: The Antlions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) of South Africa (Checklist)

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:40 pm

Gregarious Antlion Hagenomyia lethifer
Family: Myrmeleontidae

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Hartebeeshoek, Gauteng

Hagenomyia lethifer is medium-sized (wingspan 60 mm), entire top of thorax and abdomen are black, cream sides and undersides, red legs.

Found in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Links: The Antlions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) of South Africa (Checklist)

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:46 pm

Green Lacewing or Golden Eyes Chrysoperla sp.*
Family Chrysopidae

* "Possibly C. pudica, but cannot be sure." (Per ADU Virtual Museum Lacewing Project)

Nov. 2013 KTC in Kgalgadi

Medium sized (wingspan 24 mm) , plain green, without spots or markings on wings. Eyes are metallic looking, hence the common name.


Found throughout S. Africa on a variety of vegetation types. Common in gardens.

Oct., 2013 Nossob in Kgalagadi

Larvae feed on mealy bugs and other homopterans. Adults feed on honeydew and pollen, not homopteran bugs. Adults are attracted to lights. The larvae are highly beneficial insects as predators of other species, especially crop pests, and have been used successfully in biological control programs.

Links: Checklist: The Green Lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) of South Africa
Last edited by ExFmem on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:02 am

Tree-hole Antlion Cymothales illustris
Family Myrmeleontidae

Oct. 2013 Kgalagadi

Small (wingspan 56 mm), delicately built, with very long, thin legs, and highly iridescent wings intricately patterned in shades of brown and ending in an elegant hooked tip.

Oct. 2012 Kgalagadi

Restricted to the region, especially arid areas

Oct. 2013 Kgalagadi

Although the larvae of Cymothales species live in tree holes or on rock ledges, the larvae of this species are still unknown.
Last edited by ExFmem on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.