Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 203–205 | Cite as

Larvae of the Japanese termitophilous predator Isoscelipteron okamotonis (Neuroptera, Berothidae) use their mandibles and silk web to prey on termites

  • T. Komatsu
Research Article


Several species of Berothidae are known to be specialist predators of termites during their larval stages. A female of the Japanese berothid Isoscelipteron okamotonis (Nakahara, 1914) was captured in the field and laid eggs in captivity. Of 67 eggs, 20 hatched into larvae, 3 of 9 which pupated and 1 of which reached the adult stage. The first and third instars preyed on workers of the termite Reticulitermes speratus, although the second instars did not. Larvae did not show the specific predatory behaviors observed in Northern American relatives. Instead, they bound paralyzed termites with silk that was apparently used for hunting. This is the first record of an Old World berothid raised from egg to adult in the laboratory.


Beaded lacewings Japan Predation Reticulitermes speratus Isoptera 



I thank Shouhei Ueda and Tetsuya Yamamoto for helping to rear insects and Joseph Parker for reviewing this manuscript.


  1. Adams P.A. 1989. A new genus of Berothidae from tropical America, with two new species. Psyche 96: 187–194Google Scholar
  2. Ardila-Camacho A. 2013. First record of beaded lacewings (Neuroptera, Berothidae) from Colombia. Zootaxa 3669: 159–164Google Scholar
  3. Aspöck U. 1986. The present state of knowledge of the family Berothidae (Neuropteroidea: Planipennia). In: Recent Research in Neuropterology (Gepp J., Aspöck H. and Hölzel H., Eds), Privately printed, Graz, Austria, pp 87–101Google Scholar
  4. Aspöck U. and Aspöck H. 1980. Das Genus Isoscelipteron Costa 1863 (Neuropteroidea: Planipennia: Berothidae). Z. Arbeitsgem. Öst. Entomol. 32: 65–74Google Scholar
  5. Aspöck U. and Aspöck H. 1991. Zur Kenntnis des Genus Isoscelipteron Costa, 1863 (Neuropteroidea: Neuroptera: Berothidae: Berothinae). Z. Arbeitsgem. Öst. Entomol. 43: 65–76Google Scholar
  6. Aspöck U. and Nemeschkal H.L. 1998. A cladistic analysis of the Berothidae (Neuroptera). Acta Zool. Fennica 209: 45–63Google Scholar
  7. Azar D. and Nel A. 2013. A new beaded lacewing from a new Lower Cretaceous amber outcrop in Lebanon (Neuroptera: Berothidae). In: Insect Evolution in an Amberiferous and Stone Alphabet (Azar D., Engel M.S., Jarzembowsky E., Krogmann L., Nel A. and Santiago-Blay J., Eds), Brill, Leiden, pp 111–130Google Scholar
  8. Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G. and Ouvrard D. 2011. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist.
  9. Brushwein J.R. 1987. Bionomics of Lomamyia hamata (Neuroptera: Berothidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 80: 671–679Google Scholar
  10. Hayashi F. 2005. Libellulidae, Raphidioptera, Neuroptera. In: Insect Larvae of Japan (Hayashi N., Ed), Gakken, Tokyo, pp 26 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Johnson J.B. and Hagen K.S. 1981. A neuropterous larva uses an allomone to attack termites. Nature 289: 506–507Google Scholar
  12. Kistner D.H. 1982. The social insects’ bestiary. In: Social Insects vol. III (Hermann H.R., Ed), Academic Press, New York. pp 1–244Google Scholar
  13. Kollar V. 1837. Naturgeschichte der schädlichen Insekten. Verh. kaiserlich-königlichen Landwirthsch.-Ges. Wien 5: 411–413Google Scholar
  14. Komatsu T. 2013. Some new finding on ecology of Japanese beaded lacewing, Isoscelipteron okamotonis (Neuroptera: Berothidae). Gekkan-Mushi 508: 24–26 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  15. MacLeod E.G. and Adams P.A. 1967. A review of the taxonomy and morphology of the Berothidae, with the description of a new subfamily from Chile (Neuroptera). Psyche 74: 237–265Google Scholar
  16. Monserrat V.J. 2006. Nuevos datos sobre algunas especies de la familia Berothidae (Insecta: Neuroptera). Heteropterus Rev. Entomol. 6: 173–207Google Scholar
  17. New T.R. 1989. Planipennia. Lacewings. Handbuch der Zoologie (Berlin) 4: 1–132Google Scholar
  18. New T.R. 1991. Neuroptera (lacewings). In: The Insects of Australia, 2nd edition, Volume 1 (Naumann I.D., Ed), Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp 525–542Google Scholar
  19. Sekimoto S. 2008. Isoscelipteron okamotonis (Nakahara). In: Iconographia Insectorum Japonicorum Colore Naturali Edita III (Hirashima Y. and Morimoto K., Eds), Hokuryukan, Tokyo, pp 240 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  20. Takematsu Y. 1999. The genus Reticulitermes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Japan, with description of a new species. Entomol Sci 2: 231–243Google Scholar
  21. Tauber C.A. and Tauber M.J. 1968. Lomamyia latipennis (Neuroptera: Berothidae) life history and larval descriptions. Can. Entomol. 100: 623–629Google Scholar
  22. Tsukaguchi S. 1997. Nihon-san Myakushi-moku Kamei-hyou (translation: List of families of Japanese Neuroptera. In: The Encyclopaedia of Animals in Japan (9) Insect 2 (Ishii M., Ohtani T. and Johki Y., Eds), Heibonsha, Tokyo, pp 16–17 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  23. Wedmann S., Makarkin V.N., Weiterschan T. and Hörnschemeyer T. 2013. First fossil larvae of Berothidae (Neuroptera) from Baltic amber, with notes on the biology and termitophily of the family. Zootaxa 3716: 236–258Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan

Personalised recommendations