Definition of Neuroptera in English:


plural noun

  • 1An order of predatory flying insects that includes the lacewings, alderflies, snake flies, and ant lions. They have four finely veined membranous wings.

    • ‘On the other hand, there was diverse evolution within the surviving orders, the Neuroptera, Mecoptera, and Diptera, and Coleoptera being notable examples.’
    • ‘This pattern of late trait development appears to occur in all of the basal holometabolous orders of insects (e.g., Megaloptera, Neuroptera, and Mecoptera), and in the more basal families of the Coleoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera.’
    1. 1.1 Insects of the order Neuroptera.
      ‘the larvae of certain neuroptera’
      • ‘Cardboard bands have been used to monitor a variety of overwintering predatory arthropods, including Neuroptera, spiders, and Heteroptera, all taxa that were monitored in the present study.’
      • ‘Vibrational communication among group members might also be expected in taxa such as many lepidopterans, some aphids, Neuroptera, tingid bugs, and ant-attended cicadellids and fulgoroids.’
      • ‘Several countries, states, and provinces list species of neuroptera that are considered rare or possibly threatened with extinction.’


Modern Latin (plural), from neuro- in the sense ‘veined’ + Greek pteron ‘wing’.