Friday, December 4, 2015
The insect order Neuroptera, or net-winged insects, includes the lacewings, mantidflies, antlions, and their relatives. The order contains some 6,010 species. The group was once known as Planipennia, and at that time also included alderflies, fishflies, dobsonflies and snakeflies, but these are now generally considered to be separate orders (the Megaloptera and Raphidioptera). Sometimes the name Neuropterida is used to refer to these three orders as a group. This is either placed at superorder rank, with the Endopterygota becoming an unranked clade above it, or the Endopterygota are maintained as a superorder, with an unranked Neuropterida being a part of them. Within the endopterygotes, the closest living relatives of the neuropteridan clade are the beetles. The common name lacewings is often used for the most widely known net-winged insects - the green lacewings (Chrysopidae) - but actually most members of the Neuroptera are referred to as some sort of "lacewing".