Porismus strigatus (Burmeister, 1839)
Pied Lacewing
OSMYLIDAE,   NEUROPTERA
  
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com )
and
Stella Crossley

The larvae of Lacewings look rather like big ants, with huge jaws but with no waist between the thorax and abdomen. They are carnivorous, eating other insects, like caterpillars and aphids. The larvae normally live under the broken bark of trees. They rest by day, and hunt by night.

They pupate in a silk cocoon under the tree bark.


(Photo: courtesy of Joan Fearn, Moruya, New South Wales>

Adult Lacewings are not moths or butterflies, but are in a totally different insect order: NEUROPTERA. They often have transparent wings, each with a very complex system of veins, and no coloured scales.

The forewings of Porismus strigatus are black with various white markings. The insects have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

The species has been found over much of Australia, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Victoria.

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    (written 21 March 2016)