The small neuropterous family Dilaridae, "pleasing lacewings," presently includes 67 extant species, with a combined distribution encompassing parts of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa (Oswald 1998). No extant dilarids are known from Australia or New Guinea. Engel (1999) recently described the only known fossil dilarid, Cascadilar eocenicus, an adult male from Baltic amber. Dilarids are associated with woodland and forest environments, where their larvae live in corticolous or terricolous microhabitats and feed on small arthropod prey. Old World dilarid species are currently placed in four genera — three in the subfamily Dilarinae: Berothella Banks (2 spp.; China, continental Malaysia), Dilar Rambur (45 spp.; widespread throughout the Oriental and southern Palearctic regions) and Neonallachius Nakahara (1 sp.; India), and one genus in the subfamily Nallachiinae: Nallachius Navas (2 spp.; Vietnam, southeastern Africa). The adults of most species are relatively rarely collected and larvae are known for only five species (Oswald 1998).
The dilarids, or pleasing lacewings, comprise a small family of tropical, moth-like lacewings which are rarely seen in North America. This family has broad, darkly-banded wings with considerable long pilosity on the wings, giving them a "hairy" appearance. Males have distinctive pectinate antennae. However, unlike most moths, the eyes are very large in proportion to the rest of the head. Females bear ovipositors which are recurved over the abdomen. Larvae are very elongate, and live under the bark of dead trees, where they are presumed to feed on beetle adults or larvae (Gurney, 1947). Tropical American species appear to be most abundant in the forest canopy as adults, and seem to emerge most frequently during the driest part of the year (Penny and Arias, 1981 [sic]). Only two species are known from the U. S., both in the genus Nallachius Navas, 1909a, and although one species is rather widely distributed over eastern North America, it is seldom collected. A key to New World species can be found in Adams (1970).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:7
Specimens with Barcodes:7
Species With Barcodes:2
They were formerly placed in the superfamily Hemerobioidea. But it seems that the Dilaridae are a rather basal member of the Mantispoidea, which includes among others the mantidflies (Mantispidae), whose peculiar apomorphies belie that their relationship to the pleasing lacewings is apparently not at all distant.
- See references in Haaramo (2008)
- Haaramo, Mikko (2008): Mikko's Phylogeny Archive: Neuroptera. Version of 2008-MAR-11. Retrieved 2008-APR-27.
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