any of various families of neuropteran insects with four delicate, gauzy wings: the larvae feed on aphids and other insect pests
Any of various neuropteran insects of several families, especially Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae, having predaceous larvae and, in the adult, two pairs of delicate, many-veined wings and long antennae.
- As first used by Linnaeus (1735) it included all insects with mandibulate jaws and two pairs of net-veined wings - dragon-flies, May-flies, stone-flies, lacewing-flies and caddis-flies - and it has been employed in the same wide sense by D.
- The other groups of the old Linnean order (such as lacewing-flies and caddis-flies)--which are hatched as larvae markedly unlike the parent, develop wing-rudiments hidden under the larval cuticle, and only show the wings externally in a resting pupal stage, passing thus through a " complete " metamorphosis and falling into the sub-class Endopterygotawere retained in the order Neuroptera, which thus became much restricted in its extent.
- The lacewing-flies (q.v.), however, of which there are two families, the Hemerobiidae and Chrysopidae, whose larvae feed on Aphids, sucking their juices, are represented in our fauna.