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Herrera-Florez, Andres Fabian; Haug, Carolin; Burmeister, Ernst-Gerhard and Haug, Joachim T. (2020): A neuropteran insect with the relatively longest prothorax: the "giraffe" among insects is the larva of a Necrophylus species from Libya. In: Spixiana, Vol. 43, No. 2: pp. 305-314

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The larvae of holometabolan insects often differ morphologically significantly from their corresponding adults. This is also true for lacewings (Neuroptera). Almost all lacewing larvae, such as ant lions and aphid lions, are fierce predators with rather unusual morphologies. Yet, the larvae of thread-winged lacewings (Crocinae) are special even among neuropteran larvae. While they share the basic body organisation with prominent piercing stylets with other neuropteran larvae, many of them differ by having very long neck regions. The most extreme neck elongations are known in larvae of Necrophyl us. We report here a single specimen of a stage two larva that has the relatively longest functional neck region (neck + pronotum) among neuropteran larvae. Additionally, it doses a distinct gap in the biogeography of the specimen: the new specimen originates from Libya, where Necrophylus has so far been unknown, while it has been known to occur in the surrounding countries.

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