Lacewings, Antlions and Mantidflies

Order: Neuroptera

Fourteen families, containing some 569 species in Australia. Adults with long, heavily veined, membranous wings and weak, fluttering flight (often attracted to artificial lights). Mouthparts mandibulate. Larvae wingless, and are predators of other invertebrates. Some create a pit trap in loose dry soil, concealing themselves under the base of the trap, quickly grabbing prey animals that stray within striking distance with powerful, forcep-like, hollow jaws and dragging its victim underground where it is sucked dry. Most actively roam in search of prey, some camouflaging themselves with body parts of their victims.