Nemoptera sinuata Olivier, 1811
Common names: Spoonwing Lacewing, Thread-winged Lacewing [En], Némoptère sinuée [Fr], Νεμόπτερος [Gr], Uçurtma böcüğü [Tu]
Mesudiye, MUGLA ● Turkey
Description: Large to medium-size insects measuring approximately 63 inches (16 mm) in length, with a wingspan up to 2.16 inches (55 mm). The body is long and thick, with relatively broad, rounded forewings. The hind wings are particularly long and slender and are narrower at the base than they are at the tips. The wings are marked with irregular yellow and black bands. At rest the forewings are held over the body, while the hind wings project toward the rear. The larvae are broad and egg-shaped, with short necks and short jaws.
Biology : Diurnal insect. It flies, feeds and lays eggs only during the day. The flight period usually lasts from the middle of May to the end of June. The males occur one week earlier than the females.
Females lay their eggs in sand. Probably one generation is produced every year. The larvae bury themselves in sand and remain inactive for long periods. They actively hunt for prey on the surface of the soil. When an insect approaches, the larvae detect their movement through vibrations in the soil. The larvae approach potential prey slowly and attack, stabbing it with their sharp jaws. They will occasionally eat other spoonwing lacewings. Their dagger-shaped mouthparts are composed of the mandibles and maxillae. Adults are flower-visitors and feed on nectar and pollen.
The flight of N.sinuata is easy and graceful, but slow. The flapping is done only with the forewings, while the hindwings remain static. The coloration of the wings provides effective camouflage and the adults are difficult to see. The imagos begin to fly in the morning and are most active at noon in sunny weather. In cloudy weather they remain perched on the blossoms with their forewings wide open and their hindwings directed at an angle of 40–45° and slightly twisted towards the ends. When it rains they retreat below the blossoms with their forewings up above the back.
Habitat: Forests and open grasslands.
Distribution: Europe, Asia Minor and parts of North Africa along the Mediterranean Sea.
Kenn H.W., Gereben-Krenn B.A., Steinwender B.M. and Popov A., 2008. Flower visiting Neuroptera: Mouthparts and feeding behaviour of Nemoptera sinuata (Nemopteridae), Eur. J. Entomol. 105: 267–277. ISSN 1210-5759.
Lacewings Antlions and Relatives: Neuroptera - Spoonwing Lacewing (Nemoptera sinuata): Species Accounts
Popov A., 2002. Autecology and Biology of Nemoptera sinuata Olivier (Neuroptera: Nemopteridae), Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 48 (Suppl. 2), pp. 293–299.