-Notes on Madagascar Neuroptera Fauna
-Neuropteridae Species in
  California Collections

-Neuropterists Newsletter
-World Neuropteroid Bibliograpgy



No. 4
December 1994



Newsletter Editor: Norman Penny


Australia: Tim New    
North America: David Bowles
Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia Alexi Popov
Portuguese-speaking World: C. Carvalho
Egypt: S.A. El Arnaouty
Russia: V. Krivokhatsky
French-speaking world: Michel Canard
Scandinavia: Martin Meinander
German-speaking world: Horst Aspöck
Southern Africa: Mervyn Mansell
Hungary: G. Sziraki
Spanish-speaking world: Victor Monserrat


United Kingdom: Colin Plant



by Mervyn Mansell

     The fifth international Symposium on Neuropterology was held from 2-7 May 1994, in the conference centre of the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture in Cairo.  The meeting was excellently organized by Dr. S.A. El Arnaouty and his committee.  It was attended by over 40 delegates from 17 countries, indicating that Neuropterology in flourishing in many parts of the world.  

     The week commenced with registration and a reception at the Concorde Hotel close to the Nile in central Cairo.   Eighteen lectures, each lasting 30 minutes, and a number of posters were presented and discussed during the three conference days.  The papers covered a wide range of topics on Neuroptera, but there was particular interest in the use of lacewings in biological control programmes, and many of the lectures dealt with the Chrysopidae.   Two of the lectures emphasized Coniopterygidae, two were dedicated to Hemerobiidae, three presentations covered Nemopteridae and Myrmeleontidae (especially immature stages) and three dealt with morphology, of wings and exocrine glands.  There were also a number of informative talks on regional faunas and a fascinating comparison between the Neuropteroidea of Europe and North Africa.  The posters, again, emphasized green lacewings, and the first detailed observations on the mating and oviposition behaviour of antlions.  The role of Neuroptera in agriculture and environmental conservation was further strongly emphasized during presentations and discussions.

     An entire session was dedicated to discussion and co-ordination of current projects on the Neuroptera, and a report back on progress of projects outlined at the previous symposium in Luchon, France, in 1991.  This is a particularly valuable aspect of the Neuroptera Symposium as it provides an up-to-date review of research being undertaken in various parts of the world, unnecessary duplication of projects and wastage of valuable scientific endeavour.

     During the week, the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR NEUROPTEROLOGY was formally founded to serve the discipline on a global scale.  The objectives of the organization will be to promote contact between Neuropterists through a regular newsletter, the continued organization of three-yearly congresses and the establishment of a journal to be named Journal of Neuropterology.  Members elected to the Board are: Prof. M. Meinander (Finland)(President), Prof. H. Aspöck (Austria)(Vice President), W. Rohrich (Germany)(Treasurer), Prof. V. Monserrat (Spain)(Editor), Dr. M. Mansell (South Africa)(Secretary), and two other Board Members, Prof. P. Adams (U.S.A.) and Dr. A. Popov (Bulgaria).  The meeting also unanimously decided that the next Symposium should be in Helsinki, Finland in 1997.  Dr. Martin Meinander will be the convenor.  The Association and Symposia are open to all persons interested in the Neuropteroidea, and anyone interested in joining the fraternity is urged to contact the Secretary at the address provided below.

     After the daily deliberations, visits were arranged to places of interest in Cairo, including the Citadel, Giza pyramids and the fascinating bazaar where intensive bargaining was the order of the day.  On the final day of the meeting an excursion was arranged to the city of Ishmailia, including a visit to the University of Suez Experimental Farm and a trip across the Suez Canal to the new agricultural sites on the Sinai Peninsula.  This provided an insight into various agricultural activities in progress in Egypt, as well as another glimpse of this fascinating country.

Address of Secretary: International Association for Neuropterology

Dr. Nervyn W. Mansell

Biosystematics Division

Plant Protection Research Institute

Private Bag X134

Pretoria 0001, South Africa



by Nancy Adams

     The Megaloptera, Neuroptera and Raphidioptera at the Smithsonian Institution, USNM, have been inventoried.  The information captured is: Order, Family, Genus, Species, Author, the US state or Canadian province and only the country if outside North America, the total number of pinned specimens, total number of vials with adult specimens, total number of vials with immature specimens and whether we have the holotype specimen of that species.   A list can be prepared, indexed on any of the above categories.  So that if you are interesed in what we have from a particular country or US state a list can be provided with that information or if you are more interested in everything we have of a particular family or genus, that too can be printed out.  Please address all inquiries to: Miss Nancy Adams, Smithsonian Instititution, Natural History Museum, MRC-105, Washington, D.C.  20560.



by Nancy Adams

     The following papers are excess duplicates to the National Museums reprint files.  In an effort to have this research information in the hands of researchers we are offering these papers free of charge but ask that you would, if possible, send us copies of your entomological research papers.  There could be anywhere from one to a couple hundred copies available of a given paper.  So, please let me hear from you.

Banks, N. 1940.  Report on Certain Groups of Neuropteroid Insects from Szechwan, China.

Bickley, W.E. 1952.   Inheritance of some varietal Characters in Chrysopa oculata Say.

Bram & Bickley.  1963.   The Green Lacewings of the Genus Chrysopa in Maryland.

Currie, R.P.  1903.   Myrmeleonidae from Arizona.

Currie, R.P.  1904.   Hemerobiidae from the Kootenay District of British Columbia.

Currie, R.P.  1904.  An Insect-Collecting Trip to British Columbia.

Currie, R.P.  1906.  A new myrmeleonid from the United States, Brachynemurus irregularis.

Hwang, J.C. and W.E. Bickley.   1961.  The Reproductive System of Chrysopa oculata.

MacLeod, E.G. and P.E. Spiegler.   1961.  Notes on the Larval Habitat and developmental Peculiarities of Nallachius americanus.

Nakahara, W.  1965.   Contributions to the Knowledge of the Hemerobiidae of Western North America.

Nakahara, W.  1965.   Neotropical Hemerobiidae in the United States National Museum.

Parfin, S.I.  1956.   Taxonomic Notes on Kimminsia (Hemerobiidae).

Parfin, S.I. and A.B. Gurney.   1956.  The Spongilla-flies, with special Reference to those of the Western Hemisphere (Sisyridae).

Tauber, C.A. and M.J. Tauber. 1973.  Diversificaiton and secondary Integration of two Chrysopa carnea strains.

Tauber, M.J. and C.A. Tauber.   1974.  Dietary Influence on Reproduction in both Sexes of five predacious Species.

Tauber, M.J. and C.A. Tauber.   1974.  Thermal Accumulations, Diapause and Oviposition in a Conifer Inhabitinag Predator, Chrysopa harrisii.

Wildermute.  1916.   California Green Lacewing Fly.



     The Sociedad Internacional de Odonatologia has a new journal, which is called NAVASIA.



     Colin W. Plant has recently informed me of a group of both professionals and amateurs interested in Neuropteroids and Mecoptera in the United Kingdom.  They have a national record scheme to monitor British neuropteroids and mecopterans, whereby when specimens are collected, their capture is recorded on cards and sent to the information centre, where they are processed and indicated on national maps for each 10 x 10 km square.  They really seem to be enjoying the study of Neuropteroids and Mecoptera and putting a great deal of effort into it.  A newsletter, called Neuro News, is sent out twice a year about British neuropterans and mecopterans with notes on habitat, biology, identification tips, etc.   To get on their mailing list, write to Brian Eversham, Environmental Information Centre, Monks Wood Experimental Station, Abbots Ripton, Hunts, PE17 2LS, England.



     A recent search of the on-line National Science Foundation awards section indicates that there are two current U.S. grants for Neuroptera research.  A third one is about to start.

  1. Charles Henry, Stephen Brooks, and James (Ding) Johnson have a three-year, $70,000 grant to study hidden taxonomic diversity in European Chrysoperla.

  2. Nicholas J. Gotelli has a 2.5 year, $90,000 grant to study ant-lion predation.

  3. John D. Oswald has just been successful in getting a NSF grant to study the higher classificaiton and cladistics of the myrmeleontoid families of Neuroptera.


     There are more Neuroptera houses in worldwide collections than one would think.  Elsewhere I have mentioned that one-half million specimens may one day be logged into computer databases.  I would not be surprised to see the final number be double that estimate.  For instance, as very limited time permitted, over the years I have transcribed label data from the Iowa State University Neuroptera collection into my computer.  So far information about 1693 specimens have been logged in and I am not even close to being finished.  If there are 100 medium-sized collections in the U.S., each with 3000 specimens Neuropteroid specimens, then there are 300,000 specimens awaiting study - and that doesn't take into account other sized collections and collections in other countries.   At the present time I only have complete profiles for two Neuroptera collections, that of the California Academy of Sciences and the San Jose State University collection.   The San Jose State University would have to be considered among the smaller collections in the country, and one which does not receive much attention.  And yet, there are many interesting specimens in this collection.  For example, there are a surprising number of Japanese specimens present.  There are currently 1071 neuropteroid specimens from 13 families.  The generic and specific composition of this collection is as follows:

Ascalaphidae 6 9
Chrysopidae 10 19
Coniopterygidae 2 3
Dilaridae 1 1
Hemerobiidae 5 21
Mantispidae 3 10
Myrmeleontidae 17 52
Nemopteridae 1 1
Osmylidae 1 1
Polystoechotidae 2 2
Raphidiidae 1 4
Corydalidae 7 8
Sialidae 1 2
Total 57 133



Aldini, R.N.   1993.  On the presence of Wesmaelius concinnus (Stephens)(Neuroptera, Hemerobiidae) in the Italian Alps.  [In Italian].  Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura 25(2):247-250.

Aspöck, U. and M.W. Mansell.   1994.  A revision of the family Rhachiberothidae Tjeder, 1959, stat. n. (Neuroptera).  Systematic Entomology 19:181-206.

Brodsky, A.K. 1994.  Evolution of insect flight.  Oxford University Press.  290 pp.   (This book contains much original data on flight morphology of some Palearctic Neuroptera).

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1990.  A new ant-lion species (Neuroptera, Myrmeleonidae) from Middle Asia.   Pp. 61-63 in, Novosti faunistiki i sistematiki.  Naukova Dumka, Kiev.

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1991.  A new ant-lion species of the genus Myrmeleon (Neuroptera, Myrmeleonidae) from Turkmenia.  Zoologickeskiy Zhurnal 70(2):147-149.

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1992.  Revision of the Genus Lopezus Navás, 1913 (Neuroptera, Myrmeleonidae).  Entomological Review 70(5):90-102. [translation of article originally published in Entomologicheskoye Obozreniye 71(4):893-904.]

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1992.  New taxa of Asiatic ant-lions (Neuroptera, Myrmeleontidae).   Entomologicheskoye Obozreniye 71(2):405-413.

Krivokhatsky, V.A. 1992.  A new ant-lion from Turkmenia, Middle Asia (Insecta, Neuroptera, Myrmeleonidae).  Reichenbachia 29(1):77-80.

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1993.  A review of ant-lions of the Myrmecaelurus (Nohoveus) zigan species group (Neuroptera, Myrmeleontidae) with description of a new species from Armenia.   Entomologicheskoye Obozeniye 72(3):626-630.

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1993.  On the development of the Palaearctic ant-lions (Neuroptera, Myrmeleontidae) under the laboratory conditions.  Izvestiya of the Kharkov entomological Society 1(2):84-91.

Krivokhatsky, V.A.   1994.  Ant-lions (Neuroptera, Myrmeleontidae) in Turkmenistan, pp. 495-498 In Fet, V. and Atamuradov, K.I. (Editors).  Biogeography and Ecology of Turkmenistan.   Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.  (Corrections: In Table 1, p. 496, please change the lines to marks for: Acanthaclisis obscura Hz., A. curvispura Kriv., Myrmecaelurus varians Navas, and M. badkhysi [sic!] Kriv.).

LeGrand, J. and M. LaChaise.  1994.  Les Dilaridae de Navás conservés dans les collections nationales (MNHN, Paris)(Neuroptera).  Revue Française de'Entomologie (N.S.): 16(2):87-92.

Liu, Z. and C.-K. Yang.  1993.  Four New Species of Coniopteryginae (Neuroptera: Coniopterygidae) from Guizhou Province.  Entomotaxonomia 15(4):255-260.

Makarkin, V.N.  1990.  New Neuroptera from the Upper Cretaceous of Asia.  Pp. 63-68, in Novosti faunistiki i sistematiki.  Naukova Dumka, Kiev.

Stange, L.A.  1994.  Reclassification of the New World antlion genera formerly included in the tribe Brachynemurini (Myrmeleontidae).   Insecta Mundi 8(1-2):67-119.

Venzon, M. and C.F. Carvalho.  1992.  Biology of Ceraeochrysa cubana (Hagen, 1861)(Neuroptera, Chrysopidae) adults on different diets and temperatures.  Ciencia e Pratica 16(3):315-320.

Weissmair, W. and J. Waringer.  1994.  Identification of the Larvae and Pupae of Sisyra fuscata (Fabricius, 1793) and Sisyra terminalis Curtis, 1854 (Insecta: Planipennis: Sisyridae), Based on Austrian Material.  Aquatic Insects 16(3):147-155.

Yang, C.-K.  1993.  Three New Species of Osmylidae (Neuroptera) from Gizhou.  Entomoltaxonomia 15(4):261-264.

Yang, C.-K.  and Z. Liu.  1993.  The genus Cryptoscenea New to China, and a Species New to Science (Neuroptera: Coniopterygidae).   Entomotaxonomia 15(4):249-251.

Yang, C.-K. and Z. Liu.  1993.  Neuroptera: Coniopterygidae, Pp. 225-226 In, Huang, C.-M. (Ed.) The Series of the Bioresources Expedition to the Longqi Mountain Nature Reserve: Animals of Longqi Mountain.  China Forestry Publishing HOuse, Beijing, China.

Yang, X.-K.  1993.  Neuroptera, Chrysopidae, Pp. 223-224 In, Huang, C.-M. (Ed.) The Series of the Bioresources Expedition to the Longqi Mountain Nature Reserve: Animals of Longqi Mountain.  China Forestry Publishing HOuse, Beijing, China.

Yang, X.-K., J.-K. Yang and D. Yang.  1993.  Megaloptera, Corydalidae, Pp. 219-222 In, Huang, C.-M. (Ed.) The Series of the Bioresources Expedition to the Longqi Mountain Nature Reserve: Animals of Longqi Mountain.  China Forestry Publishing HOuse, Beijing, China.

Yang, D. and C.-K. Yang.  1993.  The fishflies (Megaloptera: Corydalidae) from Maolan, Gizhou.  Entomotaxonomia 15(4):246-248.

Yang, X. and C.-K. Yang.  1993.  The Lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) of Guizhou Province.  Entomotaxonomia 15(4):265-274.

Zakharenko, A.V.  1990.  A new species of the Genus Nedroleon (Neuroptera, Myrmeleonidae) from Uzbekistan.  Pp. 60-61 in, Novosti faunistiki i sistematiki.  Naukova dumka, Kiev.

Zakharenko, A.V. and V.A. Krivokhatsky.  1993.     Neuroptera from the European part of the former USSR.  Izvestiya of the Kharkov Entomological Society.  1(2):34-83.


by John D. Oswald

     For the past 12 years I have worked actively to compile a comprehensive bibliography of the world literature pertaining to the superorder Neuropterida (orders Neuroptera, Megaloptera and Raphidioptera).  This bibliography now contains references to approximately 7400 publications covering all possible aspects of the literature on neuropterid insects.   the bibliography is stored in a machine-readable format in a computerized database, and is especially strong in publications covering the taxonomic, morphological, and biological aspects of neuropterology.  although I do not consider the bibliography to be "complete" (if it ever could be), and some of its references will require additonal editing, it has now reached a size that will undoubtedly make it of general interest to neuropterists around the world.  With the help of Norm Penny, I am currently making plans to permit public access to this resource by implementing it as a bibliographic file in a "gopher" system that can be accessed electronically through the Internet.  Anyone interested in suing the bibliography to aid their research and/or documentation needs will be able to access the bibliography remotely, download all or part of the file, or use it on an on-line basis.  I would, however, like to see this database continue to grow as new neuropterid literature is published and additional older literature is identified.  I envision the possibility of making new references (and additions/corrections to older references) available on-line through periodic updates to the gopher file.  I am willing to provide the time and finger-power needed to maintain the database underlying the gopher file; however, I would like to ask you, my colleagues, to assist me in this task by contributing in several ways.

     (1)  To ensure that the bibliography contains citations to all of the neuropterid works published by living neuropterists, I would like to ask each neuropterist reading this note to send me a bibliographic list containing full citations to all of the works that you have published.   To my colleagues who publish in languages that do not use the Roman alphabet, it would aid me greatly in incorporating your works into the bibliography if you could provide me with translations or transliterations of the texts of your citations in a European language that does use Roman characters (preferably English).

     (2)  To ensure that the bibliography contains all of the neuropterid works of deceased neuropterists, I would appreciate the opportunity to compare copies of manuscript bibliographies compiled by other neuropterists against the reference list currently contained in my bibliographic database.  If you are able and willing to help out in this way, please send me a copy of the bibliography that you have compiled.  I am particularly interested in obtaining copies of bibliographies with an agricultural or applied focus, because these fields of study are currently not as well covered in the database as they could be.   Anyone contributing to the development of the bibliography by sharing unpublished bibliographic lists will be acknowledged for their contribution.  Also, please send me any published bibliographies of neuropterid authors that you may be aware of.

     (3).  To help me maintain the currency of the bibliography, I would ask that each of you send me a separate or photocopy of each of your new neuropterid papers soon after they are published.

     As I receive new papers and bibliographic lists from you, each will be checked against the existing bibliography, and appropriate additions and/or changes made.  Although the bibliography in its current form and size provides a solid core of references from which to begin the development of a shared comprehensive neuropterid bibliography, I need your help to continue the development of this resource, and I look forward to hearing from each of you in the near future.  Please send all correspondence concerning the bibliography to:

Dr. John D. Oswald


Department of Entomology

National Museum of Natural History

Washington, DC  20560

Ed. Note: John should be highly complemented on his generousity in providing this exhaustive bibliography to the Neuropterid community.  It can be accessed electronically using Internet to reach the California Academy of Sciences "goher server".  Then use the menu to reach the Department of Entomology, as you would to read the electronic version of this newsletter.  We hope to have this new service on-line by the end of January, 1995.



     Last year at the Entomology Collections Network meetings, Dr. Dan Janzen mentioned to this editor a concept for the future direction of insect systematics.  The more that I thought about this concept the more I came to the conclusion that he was indeed correct that this will be the future direction of systematics.  Furthermore, I think that workers in the systematics of Neuroptera (and Mecoptera) are capable of bing in the forefront of this new direction for systematics.

     His concept was a unifying one, bringing together several of the present systematic functions and coordinating them with several computer software programs to produce monographs almost instantaneously.  For centuries systematists have been transcribing label information to include with revisions.  Today much of that is fed into a computer database.  I personally have a database of 26,000 records of Neuropteroids and Mecoptera that I expect will expand to well over 100,000 records eventually.  It could even reach one-half million specimens.  At the same time systematists have traditionally compiled and cataloged lists of species to define the limits of already described diversity in the field.  Again, today this can be done on computer and both John Oswald and myself already have computerized lists which we hope to publish in the near future.  These database lists of species are linked to computer reference tables, which again already exist (see comments above).  The species databases are linked to fields giving information about where types are located, synonyms, biological and ecological information, etc.  There are also mapping programs on the markedt that can take specimen level databases and produce distribution maps.

     Systematists have always studied morphological characters and made comparative analyses.  During the last two or three decades this has become more rigorous with the popularity of cladistic analysis.  Most frequently this has taken the form of a character matrix with indication of primitive and derived states.  In recent years, CSIRO in Australia has developed a software program, called DELTA, that will take a character matrix and create keys and species descritpions.

     Computers have been doing increasingly better jobs at producing and saving images, both protographs and illustrations.  As the price of hard disks declines, it is becoming more and more feasible to have image libraries that can be recalled at will from CD's or other storage systems.

     Although it has not yet been done, an integration of these technologies and software programs should soon be possible.  Thus, at a request from the computer user, a request would go out that would take geographical information and select the appropriate species from the specimen level database, then use this to call up information from the species level database database and apprpriate characters from the character matrix in the DELTA program to create descriptions and keys.  The image library would provide appropriate illustrations and photos.  These various parts: descriptions, keys, images, references and distribution maps would go to a desk top publishing program to organize in a more presentable, integrated monograph.  Science Fiction?  I don't think so.  All of the key ingredients are already there, and integration should be available soon (if it isn't already).  Why have I gone through this lengthy explanation?  Because I think that Neuropterists are in a position to take advantage of this new technology more than most groups.  We already have some basic databases in place on species and literature, and a good start on specimen databases.  John Oswald has recently done an excellent cladistic analysis of the Hemerobiidae and Psychopsidae.  He currently has a NSF grant to study the higher classification of the myrmeleontoid families, and has indicated his desire to expand that work eventually to a cladistic analysis of all families.  Brooks and Barnard (1990) had a cladistic analysis of the genera of chrysopids of the world.  Glorioso, with later additions from Penny, has developed a phylogeny of the Corydalinae.   Contreras-Ramos is working on a phylogeny of Corydalus and Whiting a phylogeny of Sialidae.  Ulrike and Horst Aspöck are working hard on phylogenies of Raphidioptera and Berothidae.  And I am certainly leaving out many other workers working equally hard on other neuropteroid groups.  Group by group we are developing a character matrix to run the DELTA program.  As analyses of individual genera progress, they can be added onto the matrix that is already developed.

     In many ways the image library is the most frustrating part of this scenario.  Images are easy to scan into computer memory.  It would take very littel time.  However, illustrations take a great deal of time to produce and are usually copyrighted by publishers.  Laws and legal precedent have not kept up well with technology.  Would authors be willing to allow their drawings to be incorporated into a general access computer image library?  These are things that will have to be worked out.  However, the unifying concept that was suggested to me is an exciting one, and one that I feel will be in place in time.  And, I hope that Neuropterists will be among the first to develop it.

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