Neuroptera (Lacewings) Identification

The British Isles has six families, 25 genera, and 72 species of Lacewings. The following sections give an identification guide for each species. Unfortunately, Lacewings are often too dificult to identify species level from photographs alone and specimens do need to be taken. Taking specimens allows you to view small features on the wings and body that allow you to identify the species accurately, often a microscope may be required. for example, identifying Wax Flies (Coniopterygidae).

Below is a simple key to the families of Neuroptera (Lacewings) by clicking the families names below the key you will be taken to the relevant page for their species identification.

Key to the Families of Neuroptera (Lacewings)

Images by O. Fogh Nielsen and T. Rintala & T. Lehto from the excellent website Nettvinger, mudderfluer og kamelhalsfluer i Norge og Norden (Lacewings, Alderflies and Snakeflies in Norway and the Nordic countries) all images CC By-4.0.

Links to species identification:

Coniopterygidae (Wax Flies)

Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)

Osmylidae (Giant Lacewings)

Hemerobiidae (Brown Lacewings)

Sisyridae (Sponge Flies)

Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings)