• WordNet 3.6
    • n Neuroptera an order of insects including: lacewings; antlions; dobsonflies; alderflies; fish flies; mantispids; spongeflies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • prop. n. pl Neuroptera (Zoöl) An order of hexapod insects having two pairs of large, membranous, net-veined wings. The mouth organs are adapted for chewing. They feed upon other insects, and undergo a complete metamorphosis. The ant-lion, hellgamite, and lacewing fly are examples. Formerly, the name was given to a much more extensive group, including the true Neuroptera and the Pseudoneuroptera.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • Neuroptera An order of the class Insecta, founded by Linnæus in 1748. It was originally composed of the genera Libellula, Ephemera, Phryganea, Hemerobius, Myrmeleon, Panorpa, and Raphidia (Rhaphidia), the winged termitesbeing included in Hemerobius. The group thus constituted has suffered many changes, and entomologists are still far from agreed upon its proper definition, Fabricius founded a distinct order Odonata for the Linnean Libellulæ or dragon-flies. Kirby separated the Linnean Phryganeæ or caddis-flies under the ordinal name Tri-choptera. Erichson founded the order Pseudoneuroptera for those Linnean neuropters whose metamorphosis is in- complete and whose pupæ are active. These eliminations left the Neuroptera to consist of the families Sialidæ, Hemerobiidæ, Mantispidæ Myrmeleonidæ, and Panorpidæ. By some authors the Phryganeidæ (the Trichoptera of Kirby) are still assigned to Neuroptera, though M'Lachlan, Brauer, and others exclude them. The last named authority has the largest following in restricting the order Neuroptera to the four families Sialidæ, Hemerobiidæ, Mantispidæ, and Myrmeleonidæ, forming a separate order Panorpatæ for the family Panorpidæ, and leaving the Tri choptera out as a separate order. In this restricted sense the technical characters of the Neuroptera are wings four in number and reticulate; labial palpi three-jointed the joints free; mandibles free; pupæ distinctly man dibulate; and larvæ as in Myrmeleon, These insects are all carnivorous in the larval state, and are either aquatic or terrestrial, the aquatic forms pupating terrestrially. See cuts under Chrysopa, Mantis, and nervure.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Neuroptera nū-rop′tėr-a an order of insects which have generally four wings marked with a network of many nerves
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. ney^ron nerve + ptero`n a wing, fr. pte`sqai to fly
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. neuron, nerve, ptera, pl. of pteron, a wing.


In literature:

Lepidoptera and Neuroptera for little folks; Coleopteras for men, sir!
"The Poet at the Breakfast Table" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
It is in the family of dragonflies (order Neuroptera) that we first meet with numerous cases of distinctive sexual coloration.
"Darwinism (1889)" by Alfred Russel Wallace
You see it looks a little like the lacewing larva, and it, too, belongs to the Neuroptera.
"The Insect Folk" by Margaret Warner Morley
Archiptera: those Neuroptera with incomplete metamorphosis = Pseudo-neuroptera.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
The head is in form much like that of certain larvae of Neuroptera and of Forficula, an Orthopterous insect.
"Our Common Insects" by Alpheus Spring Packard
This swelling is a sort of sheath to the beautiful gauzy wings which distinguish all the Neuroptera, and the dragon-fly in particular.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
Many other kinds of flies have their origin in the water, as perhaps the whole class of neuroptera.
"The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society" by Erasmus Darwin
Also many Neuroptera, and termite cone studding the face of the country.
"The Highlands of Ethiopia" by William Cornwallis Harris
HAGEN, H., and Walsh, B. D., on American neuroptera, i.
"The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex" by Charles Darwin
"American Pomology" by J. A. Warder
The Neuroptera present, perhaps, more differences in the character of their metamorphoses than any other order of insects.
"On the Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects" by Sir John Lubbock
It is, however, impracticable for Lepidoptera, Diptera, and most Neuroptera.
"Directions for Collecting and Preserving Insects" by C. V. Riley
See also NEUROPTERA, in which this order was formerly comprised.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 13, Slice 4" by Various