What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Small (fore wing length 4-6 mm) lacewings (also called sponge-flies), similar to Neurorthidae and differing as above. Also resemble small Hemerobiidae but differ in having only one Rs from R in the fore wing. Antennae moniliform. Adults occur near water, and lay massed eggs on vegetation overhanging water; the eggs are unusual in being covered with silk. Larvae drop to the water and swim by flexing the body until they find a freshwater sponge, on which they are specialised predators. The long straight jaws are used, often only one at a time, to probe the sponge tissue and extract the contents. The last larval instar pupates well away from water, and the pupa may overwinter in the silken cocoon. Most species appear to be univoltine.


Sisyridae are widely distributed, and 2 genera are recorded from Australia. Sisyra (8 spp.) is cosmopolitan and Sisyrina (2 spp.) occurs also in Africa, India and possibly elsewhere in the Orient.

  • Sisyra sp. larvae