T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lacewing (Dustywings) Cryptoscenea australiensis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Dicondylia
Infraclass: Pterygota
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Coniopterygidae
Genus: Cryptoscenea
Species: C. australiensis
Binomial name: Cryptoscenea australiensis
Synonyms: Helicoconis australiensis
Common name: Dustywings

Cryptoscenea australiensis is a very small species of coniopterygidae lacewings and is the one species of Cryptoscenea that is shared with Australia. It has a length of less the 6mm. The wings are longer than the body and are held in steep `tent' over body when at rest. The body, wings and appendages are usually with white or grey wax or `meal' secreted by wax glands on various parts of the body, so that the insects superficially resemble whitefly (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae).
The female lays oval eggs singly on foliage or bark and they hatch in one to three weeks.
The larvae take a few weeks to a few months to develop. They spin flat, silken cocoons on vegetation. The predatory larvae have been recorded feeding on the eggs of Phenacoccus graminosus (a mealy bug).