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Types of Insects
While they don't often make headline news as star insects, members of the Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, Mantidflies, Owlflies) possess a certain type of personal charm, based largely on their looks.
Loosely translated, the word Neuroptera means net-winged. Long, heavily veined wings, coupled with long, soft bodies represent two physical characteristics holding members of the order together.
Apart from those two physical characteristics, Neuroptera can assume a variety of unusual appearances. Owlflies, for example, tend to resemble dragonflies.
Mantidflies, family Mantispidae, receive their name based on their resemblance to mantids. On the other hand, one mantifly species also resembles a wasp.
Some Neuroptera species grow to an above average size, making them similar looking to dobsonflies, mayflies and stoneflies.
Lacewings, one of the more common looking Neuroptera, are also probably the most commonly encountered Neuroptera.
Green Lacewings (Chrysopidae), first picture, inhabit grass areas around the United States.
Less than an inch in size, their green bodies and copper to red colored eyes, represent their initial field identification clues.
Lacewing larvae serve as natural pest control insects for many garden pests such as aphids, mites and thrips, and they are sold on the commercial market.
© 2010-2011 Patricia A. Michaels