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Someone who has managed to breed any species of the order Neuroptera?

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by raulori, Jul 12, 2019 at 1:53 PM.

  1. raulori

    raulori Arachnopeon

    Hello, I wanted to know if someone has experience in raising any type of Neuropterans, be it antlion, lacewings, mantispids, owlflies, etc.
  2. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I know some people have had success getting some antlions to adulthood, but if I remember correctly the biggest hurdles were getting them to build a pit and settle down and getting them to pupate. Though that could be a species issue and not necessarily indicative of the family. Owlflies may be easier as long as you give them bark (vertical?) to climb on and prey to hunt.
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  3. raulori

    raulori Arachnopeon

    Thanks for the input. It is a pity that they are hardly paid attention despite the large number of interesting species that exist.
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  4. 1Lord Of Ants1

    1Lord Of Ants1 Arachnobaron

    I’ve reared mantisflies (Dicromantispa interrupta) before. Most larger species are species-specific parasitoids on certain spiders, but some are more generalist than others.

    Many species are attracted to light traps/blacklights and the adult females that arrive are almost always mated. The D. interrupta I’ve reared have done well developing within the sacs of Hogna carolinensis.

    Females lay 1500-2000 tiny eggs split between separate batches that hatch within 2-3 weeks at room temp. Obviously one wouldn’t need that many, so releasing the majority would be advisable.

    I sprinkled 30-40 larvae per female wolf spider, though males for future pairings with female spiders would work. Immature spiders are fine since the larvae reside in the booklungs which prevents them from being cast out with molts. They subsist on hemolymph until they have an opportunity to enter a sac. Pairing adult females spiders is not necessary in my experience - the mantisfly larvae developed fine in infertile sacs - but the female spiders lay sacs much more reliably when paired.

    When the spiders lay their eggs during sac construction, the larvae drop down before the sac is closed. Larvae feed on the eggs and a single adult emerges in 2-3 months. Adults feed well on fruit flies and sugar water.





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  5. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Very cool stuff! I'll have to try this with our native Climaciella if I ever get the chance.

    Were you ever able to get adults to mate in captivity?
  6. 1Lord Of Ants1

    1Lord Of Ants1 Arachnobaron

    Yes, opposite sexes would mate almost immediately when put together, and they looked ready within a day after leaving the egg sac.

    It was a neat little experiment that I never would’ve tried had I not found a spot full of large Hogna carolinensis.
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  7. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Wow :eek: Just one more question: how did you sex these?
  8. 1Lord Of Ants1

    1Lord Of Ants1 Arachnobaron

    The males are much smaller, almost half the size of the females. Out of 10 sacs only two produced a male, and those happened to be from the smallest sacs.

    I’m guessing the sex is highly dependent on food availability, and it’s likely more males develop in the wild by parasitizing the smaller members of the Hogna genus which are common in the same area.
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  9. I got a friend who caught a female antlion adult, and before he "Iced" it for a pinned specimen, he kept it in a jar with sand for a while, and it laid some eggs.
    The eggs hatched and he kept them in sand in a plastic tub sand about 1-1.5 cm deep. Fed them ants, but well... keeping them in a large group in a confined container was not the best idea, many eat each other. He's switched the the remaining ones in a larger container, and a few months ago he sent me a video update on them: No larvae are found, hr found this sand sphere, and it's about the size of a dime.
  10. MTA

    MTA Arachnosquire

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