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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Neuropterida
Ordo: Neuroptera
Subordo: Hemerobiiformia
Superfamilia: Hemerobioidea

Familia: Hemerobiidae
Subfamiliae: Adelphohemerobiinae - Drepanacrinae - Carobiinae - Drepanepteryginae - Hemerobiinae - Megalominae - Microminae - Notiobiellinae - Psychobiellinae - Sympherobiinae - incertae sedis

Genera: Adelphohemerobius – Anapsectra – Austromegalomus – Biramus – †Bothromicromus – Carobius – Conchopterella – †Cretomerobius – Drepanacra – Drepanepteryx – Gayomyia – Hemerobiella – Hemerobius – Megalomina – Megalomus – Micromus – Neomicromus – Neosympherobius – Nesobiella – Neuronema – Noius – Nomerobius – Notherobius – Notiobiella – Nusalala – †Prochlanius – †Prolachlanius – †Promegalomus – †Proneuronema – †Prophlebonema – †Prospadobius – Psectra – Psychobiella – Sympherobius – Wesmaelius – Zachobiella

Hemerobiidae, Latreille, 1802


New, T.R. 1988: A revision of the Australian Hemerobiidae (Insecta: Neuroptera). Invertebrate taxonomy, 2: 339–411.
Makarkin, V.N., Wedmann, S. & Weiterschan, T. 2016. A new genus of Hemerobiidae (Neuroptera) from Baltic amber, with a critical review of the Cenozoic Megalomus-like taxa and remarks on the wing venation variability of the family. Zootaxa 4179(3): 345–370. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4179.3.2 Reference page.
Oswald, J.D. 1993: Revision and cladistic analysis of the world genera of the family Hemerobiidae (Insecta: Neuroptera). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 101: 143–299.
Engel, M. S. & Grimaldi, D. A. 2007: The neuropterid fauna of Dominican and Mexican Amber (Neuropterida: Megaloptera, Neuroptera). American Museum Novitates. 3587:1–58 (PDF)
Makarkin, V.N.; Wedmann, S.; Weiterschan, T. 2012: First record of a fossil larva of Hemerobiidae (Neuroptera) from Baltic amber. Zootaxa 3417: 53–63. Preview Reference page.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Taghafte, Braune Florfliegen
English: Brown lacewings
español: Crisopas pardas
eesti: Pärltiiblased
suomi: Kirvakorennot
magyar: Barnafátyolkák
日本語: ヒメカゲロウ科
Nederlands: Bruine gaasvliegen
polski: Życiorkowate
português: Hemerobiídeos
svenska: Florsländor

Hemerobiidae is a family of Neuropteran insects commonly known as brown lacewings, comprising about 500 species in 28 genera. Most are yellow to dark brown, but some species are green. They are small; most have forewings 4–10 mm long (some up to 18 mm). These insects differ from the somewhat similar Chrysopidae (green lacewings) not only by the usual coloring but also by the wing venation: hemerobiids differ from chrysopids in having numerous long veins (two or more radial sectors) and forked costal cross veins. Some genera (Hemerobius, Micromus, Notiobiella, Sympherobius, Wesmaelius) are widespread, but most are restricted to a single biogeographical realm. Some species have reduced wings to the degree that they are flightless.[1] Imagines (adults) of subfamily Drepanepteryginae mimic dead leaves. Hemerobiid larvae are usually less hairy than chrysopid larvae.

Hemerobiids, like chrysopids, are predatory, especially on aphids, both as larvae and adults. The species Micromus tasmaniae is bred for biological pest control.[2]


The relationships between the Hemerobiidae and the other Neuropteran families are still unresolved.[3] Despite their superficial similarity to chrysopids, the brown and green lacewings may not be as closely related as was at one time believed. Rather, the Hemerobiidae appear to be closely related to the Mantispidae.[4][5]

The superfamily Hemerobioidea is currently restricted to the Hemerobiidae. Formerly, the pleasing lacewings (Dilaridae), silky lacewings (Psychopsidae), giant lacewings (Polystoechotidae) and as noted above the green lacewings (Chrysopidae) were placed therein too. Of these, only the Dilaridae and Chrysopidae seem to be reasonably close relatives of the brown lacewings. The Psychopsidae in fact seem to belong to an altogether different suborder of Neuroptera, the Myrmeleontiformia.[3]

Cladogram of Hemerobiidae relations, based on morphological and molecular data. Psychobiellinae was rearranged into Notiobiellinae and Zachobiellinae, and Adelphohemerobiinae was placed as incertae sedis. [6]












The subfamilies of Hemerobiidae are:

  • Subfamily Adelphohemerobiinae
    • Genus: Adelphohemerobius Oswald, 1993
  • Subfamily Drepanacrinae
  • Subfamily Carobiinae
  • Subfamily Drepanepteryginae
  • Subfamily Hemerobiinae
  • Subfamily Megalominae
    • Genus: Megalomus Rambur, 1842
  • Subfamily Microminae
    • Genus: Megalomina Banks, 1909
    • Genus: Micromus Rambur, 1842
    • Genus: Nusalala Navás, 1913
  • Subfamily Notiobiellinae
  • Subfamily Psychobiellinae
  • Subfamily Sympherobiinae

Apart from the genera assigned to subfamilies, the genus Notherobius is of uncertain or fairly basal position.
Wesmaelius makarkini from Lower Miocene China. A photograph of forewing under alcohol B Line drawing of forewing.[7]

Numerous fossil Hemerobiidae have been described, some from the still-living genera, others from genera that are entirely extinct today. While most have been found in Eocene to Miocene rocks or amber, Promegalomus is known from the Jurassic. It was formerly considered to constitute a distinct family Promegalomidae, but is currently recognized as a very basal member of the Hemerobiidae. The Cretaceous Mesohemerobius was formerly considered a brown lacewing, but is today rather placed as incertae sedis in the Neuroptera; it might be a member of the Hemerobioidea but not even that is certain. Notable fossil Hemerobiidae genera are:[8]

Bothromicromus Scudder, 1878 (Eocene/Oligocene; Quesnel, British Columbia)
Brasilopsychopsis Crato Formation Brazil, Aptian
Cratopsychopsis Crato Formation Brazil, Aptian
Cretomerobius Ponomarenko, 1992 Dzun-Bain Formation, Mongolia, Aptian
Hemeroberotha Makarkin & Gröhn, 2020 Burmese amber, Myanmar, Cenomanian
Mucropalpus Pictet, 1856 (Eocene; Baltic amber)
Plesiorobius Klimaszewski and Kevan 1986 Taimyr amber, Russia, Santonian Canadian amber, Campanian Ola Formation, Russia, Campanian
Prochlanius Kruger, 1923 (Eocene; Baltic amber)
Promegalomus Panfilov, 1980 Karabastau Formation, Kazakhstan, Callovian/Oxfordian
Prophlebonema Kruger, 1923 (Eocene; Baltic amber)
Prospadobius Kruger, 1923 (Eocene; Baltic amber)
Purbemerobius Jepson et al. 2012 Durlston Formation, United Kingdom, Berriasian

The extinct genus Hemerobites was originally described in 1813 from a specimen preserved in Baltic amber as a hemerobiid. However further study has resulted in its synonymy with the genus Eutermes and placement in the termite subfamily Termitina. The species Wesmaelius mathewesi, was described in 2003 from a solitary Eocene fossil found near Quesnel, British Columbia, and placed into the extant genus Wesmaelius. At that time it was the oldest Hemerobiinae species described.[9] Another species from the same genus, Wesmaelius makarkini was found in Garang Formation of Zeku County, Qinghai Province, China, in 2018. The finding is from Lower Miocene.[7]

Some additional brown lacewing larvae have been found as fossils, but it has been impossible to determine their generic or subfamilial association.[8]

Stange, Lionel (2008). "Lacewings, Antlions and Matispids (Neuroptera)". In Capinera, John L. (ed.). Encyclopedia of entomology (2nd. ed.). Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 2102–2110. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1.
New, TR (2002). "Prospects for extending the use of Australian lacewings in biological control" (PDF). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 48 (Supplement 2): 209–216.
Aspoeck, Ulrike; Haring, Elisabeth; Aspoeck, Horst (2012). "The phylogeny of the Neuropterida: long lasting and current controversies and challenges (Insecta: Endopterygota)" (PDF). Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny. 70 (2): 119–129. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
Winterton, Shaun L.; Hardy, Nate B.; Wiegmann, Brian M. (July 2010). "On wings of lace: Phylogeny and Bayesian divergence time estimates of Neuropterida (Insecta) based on morphological and molecular data". Systematic Entomology. 35 (3): 349–378. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3113.2010.00521.x. S2CID 84610713.
Zhao, Yang; Chen, Yunjiao; Zhao, Jing; Liu, ZhiQi (2015). "First complete mitochondrial genome from the brown lacewings (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae)". Mitochondrial DNA Part A. 27 (4): 2763–2764. doi:10.3109/19401736.2015.1053054. PMID 26367792. S2CID 6911900.
Garzón-Orduña, IJ; Menchaca-Armenta, I; Contreras-Ramos, A; Liu, X; Winterton, SL (20 September 2016). "The phylogeny of brown lacewings (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae) reveals multiple reductions in wing venation". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 16: 192. doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0746-5. PMC 5029026. PMID 27645380.
Yang, Qiang; Shi, Chaofan; Li, Xiangchuan; Pang, Hong; Ren, Dong (2018-01-10). "The first fossil brown lacewing from the Miocene of the Tibetan Plateau (Neuroptera, Hemerobiidae)". ZooKeys (726): 145–154. doi:10.3897/zookeys.726.21086. ISSN 1313-2970. PMC 5806409. PMID 29430206.
Engel, MS; Grimaldi, DA (2007). "The neuropterid fauna of Dominican and Mexican amber (Neuropterida, Megaloptera, Neuroptera)" (PDF). American Museum Novitates (3587): 1–58. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2007)3587[1:tnfoda];2. hdl:2246/5880.

Makarkin, VN; Archibald, SB; Oswald, JD (2003). "New Early Eocene brown lacewings (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae) from western North America". The Canadian Entomologist. 135 (5): 637–653. CiteSeerX doi:10.4039/n02-122. S2CID 53479449.

Chinery, Michael (1986): Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe.

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