Neuropterida contains the orders Neuroptera, Megaloptera and Raphidioptera. Perhaps the most well-known are the antlions, whose larvae make conical depressions in sandy soil, and lace wings, whose larvae often carry detritus on their backs as camouflage. All members of this group are predatory and some, such as the green lacewings, are important predators of aphids in both larval and adult stages. Some species, such as Dobsonflies and fishflies can be very large and are attracted to lights. Male dobsonflies have elongated mandibles, but despite their fearsome appearance, these insects are harmless to humans.

Close Up of a Mantidfly (mantispidae) from the Neuropterida Collection gallery

FSCA has one of the world’s largest collections of antlions and many reared specimens, allowing for association of larval morphology with the adult form. The collection contains nearly 37,000 specimens, representing 1,332 species in 146 genera, from geographically diverse locations. The advanced state of the Neuropterida collection can largely be attributed to the late Lionel Stange, who was curator of this group at FSCA and continued work during retirement until the time of his passing. Significant contributions have all been made by Bruce Miller (Myrmeleontidae).



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