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

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Life histories are not known with any certainty. Larvae of a North American species feed on termites, which they chemically immobilise. In Australia, biological knowledge is limited to Spermophorella , females of which lay batched, stalked eggs, and the larvae of which occur under bark. They have straight mouth-parts, and are distinguishable from other neuropteran larvae by the very broad maxilla base.


Small to medium-sized lacewings (fore wing length 6-15 mm). Antennae shorter than fore wing, usually setose and with scape enlarged. Wings  subequal, shape variable: rounded, strap-like or (rarely) falcate; usually with veins strongly setose and females of some species and males of a few have specialised scale-like hairs (e.g. Spermophorella ) which may also be present on the pronotum or coxa of the fore leg or on the abdomen. The females may have a pair of long filamentous processes ('hypocaudae') on the gonocoxite.


Berothidae are widely distributed, and all Australian species (representing about 6 genera), belong to the B erothinae , one of the 4 subfamilies (Aspock and Aspock 1984, 1985, 1986). Many species appear to be limited to drier areas, and the most diverse genera are the broad-winged Spermophorella and the narrow-winged Stenobiella . The falcate-winged Isoscelipteron with a species in Queensland has the widest known distribution of any berothid genus (southern Europe, northern Africa, Asia, Australia).

  • Berothidae larvae

  • Stenobiella sp.

  • Spermophorella sp.

  • Stenobiella sp.