The Nevrorthidae (often incorrectly spelled "Neurorthidae") are a small family of winged insects of the order Neuroptera. Extant species may be described as living fossils. There are 19 extant species in four genera, with a geographically disjunct distribution: Nevrorthus, comprising 5 species with scattered distributions around the Mediterranean; Austroneurorthus, with two species known from southeastern Australia; Nipponeurorthus, comprising 11 species known from China and Japan; and Sinoneurorthus, known from a single species described from Yunnan Province, China.[1] They are traditionally placed in the Osmyloidea, alongside Osmylidae and the spongillaflies (Sisyridae),[2] but some research has considered them to be the sister group to the rest of Neuroptera.[3] The larvae have unique straight jaws that are curved at the tips, and live as unspecialised predators in the sandy bottom sediments of clear, fast flowing mountain rivers and streams. They pupate underwater on the underside of stones. The adults are likely predators or feed on honeydew and other sugar-rich fluids.[1][2]

Temporal range: Middle Jurassic–recent
Nevrorthidae gallery.jpg
Nevrorthus apatelios (top), adult (left) and larva (right); Nipponeurorthus fuscinervis (bottom left); Sinoneurorthus yunnanicus (bottom right)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Neuroptera
Superfamily: Osmyloidea
Family: Nevrorthidae
Nakahara, 1915



Neurorthidae (lapsus)

Apart from the mere four living genera, several species are known from fossils, the oldest being a larva from the Middle Jurassic of China, which already shows aquatic adaptations typical of modern nevorthid larvae.[4]



  • Nevrorthus Costa, 1863
    • Nevrorthus apatelios H. Aspöck, U. Aspöck & Hölzel, 1977 Balkans, Italy
    • Nevrorthus fallax (Rambur, 1842) Sardinia and Corsica
    • Nevrorthus hannibal U. Aspöck & H. Aspöck, 1983 Tunisia, Algeria
    • Nevrorthus iridipennis Costa, 1863 Calabria, Sicily
    • Nevrorthus reconditus Monserrat & Gavira, 2014 Malaga, Spain
  • Genus Austroneurorthus Nakahara, 1958
    • Austroneurorthus brunneipennis (Esben-Petersen, 1929) New South Wales, Queensland, Australia
    • Austroneurorthus horstaspoecki U. Aspöck, 2004 Victoria, New South Wales, Australia
  • Genus Nipponeurorthus Nakahara, 1958
    • Nipponeurorthus damingshanicus Liu, H. Aspöck & U. Aspöck, 2014 Guangxi, China
    • Nipponeurorthus fasciatus Nakahara, 1958 China (Taiwan)
    • Nipponeurorthus flinti U. Aspöck & H. Aspöck, 2008 Japan (Okinawa, Amamioshima).
    • Nipponeurorthus furcatus Liu, H. Aspöck & U. Aspöck, 2014 China (Yunnan)
    • Nipponeurorthus fuscinervis (Nakahara, 1915) Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu)
    • Nipponeurorthus multilineatus Nakahara, 1966 China (Taiwan).
    • Nipponeurorthus pallidinervis Nakahara, 1958 Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Tsushima Island).
    • Nipponeurorthus punctatus (Nakahara, 1915) Japan (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu).
    • Nipponeurorthus qinicus Yang in Chen, 1998 China (Shaanxi).
    • Nipponeurorthus tianmushanus Yang & Gao, 2001 China (Zhejiang).
    • Nipponeurorthus tinctipennis Nakahara, 1958 Japan (Yakushima Island).
  • Genus Sinoneurorthus Liu, H. Aspöck & U. Aspöck, 2012
    • Sinoneurorthus yunnanicus Liu, H. Aspöck & U. Aspöck, 2012, Yunnan, China

Extinct generaEdit


  1. ^ a b c Aspöck, U.; Aspöck, H.; Liu, X. (2017-08-03). "The Nevrorthidae, mistaken at all times: phylogeny and review of present knowledge (Holometabola, Neuropterida, Neuroptera)". Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. 64 (2): 77–110. doi:10.3897/dez.64.13028. ISSN 1860-1324.
  2. ^ a b Engel, M.; Winterton, S.; Breitkreuz, L. (2018-01-07). "Phylogeny and Evolution of Neuropterida: Where Have Wings of Lace Taken Us?". Annual Review of Entomology. 63: 531–551. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-020117-043127. ISSN 1545-4487. PMID 29324039.
  3. ^ Haug, J.; Baranov, V.; Schädel, M.; Müller, P.; Gröhn, C.; Haug, C. (2020-11-15). "Challenges for understanding lacewings: how to deal with the incomplete data from extant and fossil larvae of Nevrorthidae? (Neuroptera)". Fragmenta Entomologica. 52 (2): 137–168. doi:10.13133/2284-4880/472. ISSN 2284-4880.
  4. ^ a b Du, Xuheng; Niu, Kecheng; Bao, Tong (2023-02-22). "Giant Jurassic dragon lacewing larvae with lacustrine palaeoecology represent the oldest fossil record of larval neuropterans". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 290 (1993): 20222500. doi:10.1098/rspb.2022.2500. ISSN 0962-8452. PMC 9928527. PMID 36787796.
  5. ^ Wichard, W. (2017). "Family Nevrorthidae (Insecta, Neuroptera) in Mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber". Palaeodiversity. 10 (1): 1–5. doi:10.18476/pale.v10.a1.
  6. ^ Du, X.; Niu, K.; Bao, T. (2023). "Correction to: 'Giant Jurassic dragon lacewing larvae with lacustrine palaeoecology represent the oldest fossil record of larval neuropterans' (2023) by Du et al.". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 290 (1995). 20230411. doi:10.1098/rspb.2023.0411. PMC 10015331. PMID 36919435.
  7. ^ "Fossilworks: Palaeoneurorthus". Retrieved 2023-03-02.