On this map you see where there were observations of Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies around the world. This will give you an idea of the global distribution of this class. Note that a class can have many different families, and thousands of species.
Years 2000 until now, source: GBIF
The insect class Neuroptera, commonly known as lacewings, antlions, and their relatives, is a diverse group of insects consisting of over 6,000 known species. These insects are characterized by their delicate, membranous wings with intricate venation patterns, elongated bodies, and large, prominent eyes. Neuroptera is divided into several families and genera, with some of the most well-known families being Chrysopidae (green lacewings), Hemerobiidae (brown lacewings), and Myrmeleontidae (antlions), among others.
Neuroptera insects can be found in a wide range of countries across the globe, primarily in temperate and tropical regions. Their distribution extends across parts of North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The life cycle of Neuroptera insects consists of three stages: egg, larva, and adult. The duration of each stage varies among species and can be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and food availability.
Female Neuroptera lay their eggs on or near their preferred food source, depending on the species. Upon hatching, the predatory larvae feed on small insects, such as aphids, mites, and other soft-bodied arthropods. Neuroptera larvae undergo several molts as they grow, and once they reach their final larval stage, they pupate and undergo metamorphosis to become adult Neuroptera insects.
While adult Neuroptera insects and their larvae are not typically considered a primary food source for fish, certain species may occasionally be relevant to fly fishing, particularly for trout and other fish for which the primary food source is insects.
The most commonly known pattern is the Lacewing Moth. This pattern is designed to imitate the appearance of adult lacewings, which are characterized by their delicate, membranous wings and elongated bodies.
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Each order has an indication of its relevance to fly fishing:
= Not so relevant
= Somewhat relevant
= Most relevant