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Brown Lacewing (Miromus subanticus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Brown Lacewing

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Lacewings are a plant's best friend thanks to their voracious appetite for aphids, a tiny sap-sucking nuisance.

Updated: 04/21/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Brown Lacewings have long brown wings with dark spots and specks on them. The wings are sparsely covered in short hairs that resemble stubble. They are good to have around because their offspring are excellent hunters like their parents. Lacewing larvae look more like lady beetle larvae than the flying adult. Larvae lack wings, have pincers at the front of the face, and have a tapered, segmented body. They are fast crawlers and scour a plant for insects to eat. Their favorite prey are aphids. The small aphid is usually part of a large population that attacks plant stems, siphoning the precious liquids inside. Aphids also secrete a sweet sticky substance referred to as honeydew. This attracts ants and black sooty mildew. Brown Lacewing larvae are a natural control for aphids and help prevent all the nuisances associated with them.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Neuroptera
        Family: Hermerobiidae
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          Genus: Miromus
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            Species: subanticus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Miromus subanticus
Category: Antlion or Lacewing
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.19" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: brown; flying; fly; spiky hairs; stubble; hairs; dark brown dots on wings; ant head

Brown-Lacewing Video(s)

A wayward lacewing larva about to get released outside.

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 8mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Brown Lacewing may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Brown Lacewing. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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