Moth Lacewing facts and information. Know Moth Lacewing diet, habitat, taxonomy, etc See interesting facts of Moth Lacewing in our animal facts archive.

FAMILY

Ithonidae

TAXONOMY

Megalithone tillyardi Riek, 1974, Cunningham’s Gap, Queens- land, Australia.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The moth lacewing is a relatively large, robust insect with an appearance similar to that of a dull hepialid moth. The wings and body are dull brown, and the body is covered with numerous long hairs. The wings are folded over the body. The larva is fossorial and scarabaeiform in body shape.

DISTRIBUTION

Southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales, Australia.

HABITAT

Higher elevations, often on sandy soils.

More:  Western tree hyrax facts

BEHAVIOR

Adults emerge in masses to form large mating aggregations or swarms composed of many more males than females.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

It is not clear if adults feed, but the larvae eat root exudates of plants. Ithonids have been recorded erroneously as predators of scarab larvae.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The female has a genital plug upon emergence, which is appar- ently displaced during copulation.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN. The conservation status of the moth lacewing is difficult to assess, because larvae are fossorial and adult swarms are infrequent. Habitat destruction appears to be the main threat to individual populations.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Swarms have been recorded hitting the metal roofs of houses and sounding like a hail storm. While they are rare, swarms are a nuisance to humans, because adults also enter houses and gather in dark places. Such plagues are known to last as long as three weeks.