Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Butterfly Lacewing


Unknown insect
Unknown insect  
QUESTION: Hi Walter,
I came across this beautiful insect whilst walking in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains, Alpujarra valley.
The land was open scrub, small bushes and grass with sandy soil, very open and quite remote.  About 1000M altitude.
It was very hot but it had rained a few days previously.
I saw a number of these quite fast flying insects, about 1 every 100M2.  They were not easy to get close and did not keep still for long, but I caught one good snap.  
the length including the trailing 'wings' was about 4 inches.
I only saw them in the highest area a few miles wide, even though I walked all day through very similar countryside.
It looks very distinctive but I can't track down what it is and non of the locals seemed to know.
Can you identify this? I'd be very grateful.
Kind regards

ANSWER: Hi Chris
This gorgeous insect belongs to the Order Neuroptera and the Genus Nemoptera.
I believe it is a Nemoptera bipennis
The most  common name is the Butterfly lacewing.
Google Nemoptera and you will find more images

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Other variety
Other variety  
QUESTION: Thank you Walter, that is very helpful.
May I trouble you with just one more?  This appears to be a variation but without the spoon wings, but again I'm having trouble tracking it down (I tend to do beetles usually).
I will spare you the rest of my pictures which are of various dragonflies eating dinner, in close-up!
Kind regards

ANSWER: This is another member of the Neuroptera but I do not believe it belongs to the Nemoptera. I can't se enough detail but I think it may be an antlion

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QUESTION: Sorry, that's my poor photography.
These may be better.
Kind regards

The Order Neuroptera is one of the most diverse when it comes to variation. I am quite sure this is an antlion. It resembles the Orange Antlion ( Callistoleon) without an orange head.To identify species at this level requires an expert in the Neuroptera.
 It amazes me that these delicate little bugs were once that vicious larvae hiding in the sand hole.

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Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz


I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.


I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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