Temporal range: 299–0 Ma Permian to recent
Crisopid July 2013-9a.jpg
Green lacewing
Scientific classification e
Linnaeus, 1758

and see text

The insect order Neuroptera, or net-winged insects, includes the lacewings, mantidflies, antlions, and their relatives. The order consists of some 6,000 species.[1] Neuroptera can be grouped together with the Megaloptera and Raphidioptera in the superfamily Neuropterida (once known as Planipennia) the latter including: alderflies, fishflies, dobsonflies, and snakeflies.

Adult Neuropterans have four membranous wings, all about the same size, with many veins. They have chewing mouthparts, and undergo complete metamorphosis.

Neuropterans first appeared during the Permian Period, and continued to diversify through the Mesozoic Era.[2] During this time, several unusually large forms evolved, especially in the extinct family Kalligrammatidae, often referred to as "the butterflies of the Jurassic" due to their large, patterned wings.[3]

Anatomy and biology

Close-up of head, showing bristles and compound eyes

Neuropterans are soft-bodied insects with relatively few specialised features. They have large lateral compound eyes, and may or may not also have ocelli. Their mouthparts have strong mandibles suitable for chewing, and lack the various adaptations found in most other endopterygote insect groups.

They have four wings, which are usually similar in size and shape, and a generalised pattern of veins.[4] Some neuropterans have specialised sense organs in their wings, or have bristles or other structures to link their wings together during flight.[5]

The larvae are specialised predators, with elongated mandibles adapted for piercing and sucking. The larval body form varies between different families, depending on the nature of their prey. In general, however, they have three pairs of thoracic legs, each ending in two claws. The abdomen often has adhesive discs on the last two segments.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Neuroptera
asturianu: Neuroptera
azərbaycanca: Torqanadlılar
беларуская: Сеткакрылыя
български: Мрежокрили
català: Neuròpter
Cebuano: Neuroptera
čeština: Síťokřídlí
dansk: Netvinger
Deutsch: Netzflügler
Diné bizaad: Aniłtʼánii
Ελληνικά: Νευρόπτερα
español: Neuroptera
Esperanto: Neŭroptero
euskara: Neuroptera
français: Neuroptera
galego: Neurópteros
한국어: 풀잠자리목
hornjoserbsce: Sytkokřidłač
italiano: Neuroptera
Latina: Neuroptera
lietuvių: Tinklasparniai
Bahasa Melayu: Neuroptera
Nederlands: Netvleugeligen
Nordfriisk: Näätjügeten
norsk: Nettvinger
norsk nynorsk: Nettvengjer
Plattdüütsch: Nettflunken
polski: Sieciarki
português: Neuroptera
română: Neuroptera
Simple English: Neuroptera
slovenščina: Pravi mrežekrilci
српски / srpski: Мрежокрилци
svenska: Nätvingar
українська: Сітчастокрилі
Tiếng Việt: Bộ Cánh gân
Winaray: Neuroptera
中文: 脈翅目