The Neuroptera, or net-winged insects, include the lacewings, antlions, owlflies, mantidflies, and their relatives. With around 6000 species, this is one of the smaller orders of holometabolous insects (insects with complete metamorphosis). Both adults and larvae are usually terrestrial predators of small arthropods like aphids, ants, and mites. Adult Neuroptera are medium-sized to large, soft-bodied insects with four delicate membranous wings. Neuropteran larvae are active predators with large mandibles that are greatly modified for piercing and sucking. The larvae of some groups feed on agricultural and garden pests and are sold commercially as biological control agents.
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