Scientific name

Micromus timidus Hagen

Taxonomic position

Neuroptera: Planipennia: Hemerobiidae


Ground colour of body brown, face pale, vertex darker, palpi pale; eyes dark grey to black; antennae unicolorous pale brown; thorax and abdomen dark brown; legs straw yellow. Wing membranes slightly fumose; forewing longitudinal veins predominantly pale, R1 darkened at origins of Rs branches, Rs branches intermittently dark; costal crossveins partially dark; outer gradate veins dark, narrowly shaded with greyish brown; hindwing venation straw brown. Wings long and tapered; forewing with 5-6, and rarely 4 or 7, Rs branches.

Female: Ectoproct small and deep; tergite 9 deep and ventrally rounded, a slender lateral process; gonapophyses laterales long and slender; spermatheca long, slender, coiled; subgenitale broad, slightly lobed.

Male: Abdominal apex as illustrated below; ectoproct deep with long, ventral, medially curved process, this expanded and medially serrated at apex; tergite 9 slender and closely associated with ectoproct. Sternite 9 short and transverse. Genitalia with gonarcus having deep lateral flanges, rather narrow; arcessus slender, straight to strongly arched; entoprocessus prominent; parameres basally fused, laterally expanded about 1/2 length; hypandrium internum small and broad.

  Female: 1. Abdominal apex, lateral view; 2. Subgenitale, ventral view; 3. Spermatheca
  Male: 1. Abdominal apex, lateral view; 2-3. Parameres: 2. Lateral view (upper); 3. Ventral view (lower); 4-5. Gonarcus and associated structures; 4. lateral view; 5. dorsal view.

(Drawings redrawn from New, 1988)


Micromus timidus  Micromus timidus  Micromus timidus Adult

larva  Micromus timidus  larva  larva
Larva of M. timidus feeding on sugarcane woolly aphid

Larva feeding on nerium aphid  Larva feeding on nerium aphid Larva feeding on Aphis nerii


Widely distributed throughout the Old World tropics, including Africa (South India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Neo Caledonia, South and Central Africa, Madagascar, and many other countries). Commonly collected in association with aphids in Karnataka.

Hosts / Biology

Aphidophagous on several common species like Aphis craccivora Koch, A. gossypii Glover, A. spiraecola Patch, etc. Williams (1927) studied its biology (as Micromus vinaceus).


  • New, T.R. 1988. A revision of Australian Hemerobiidae (Insecta: Neuroptera). Invertebrate Taxonomy, 2: 339-411 (detailed description with illustrations).
  • Williams, F.X. 1927. The brown Australian lacewing. Hawaiian Planters' Record, 31: 246-249.