Spongillaflies (Aquatic Neuroptera)
The order Neuroptera is a fairly large terrestrial order containing groups like lacewings and antlions. Only six aquatic species are known in North America The larvae of this one small group, spongillaflies, are aquatic and are parasites of freshwater sponges (Spongilliadae). Their highly modified sucking mouthparts and small, somewhat "hairy" bodies distinguish them from other aquatic insect larvae. They are encountered very rarely in Iowa streams, as are their hosts. Neuro (nerve) ptera (wing) refers to the dense, nerve-like venation in the wings of adults.