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Insect: Antlion

Find, identify & discuss the insects of SANParks
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Unread post by Kreetja » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:07 pm


i came across this site while tryin to ID some goggas i've found... it would be great if someone here can help as google definitely has its limitations when searching for things... (when i said green caterpillar i didn't mean earthmoving equipment)... :?

if posting that image worked then here's the next one...
looks a bit dragonfly'ish... saw it one evening flapping around the light outside at home (white river)... its the size of a large dragonfly... it kinda folds its wings back (second pic)... scuz the 'professional' lighting ie. torch... :wink:

and another one.... smallish little gogga i found in the kitchen... about 3-4cm long... loved its lacey looking wings...

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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:30 pm

Hi Kreetja

Beautiful creatures you saw! Insects are some of the most intricate, colorful and interesting organism in nature.

1. That is the adult of the Mottled Veld Antlion (Palpares caffer). Reaches approx 112mm and is found in a broad band all along the eastern part of Southern Africa. Larvae live in sandy soils.

2. That looks like the adult of the Bark Antlion. So called because the adults will sit camouflaged on the bark of trees during the day. Larvae also lives in the sand, usually at the base of trees.
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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by arks » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:41 am

Can anyone help with ID for this insect? Seen in Kgalagadi in March 2010. It's similar to a dragonfly, but I think it's not? :?

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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Jon Richfield » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am

Arks, it is an adult ant lion. No clue about species; there are many similar. Some, especially larger ones, have spectacularly shadowed wings, but I see that yours is a penny-plain ordinary. Very likely it is one of the pit-diggers, but actually, many spp many don't dig pits.



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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by Jon Richfield » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:40 am

oddesy wrote:Arks im pretty sure thats a lacewing :dance: the swollen tips on the end of the antennae are usually an indicator. They belong to the Order Neuroptera along with antlions and mantis flies.

Hi Oddesy,

Sorry, I answered before checking ahead (been away from forum for a while). I didn't mean to overlook your entry. You have an eye for these things, noticing those antennae, but I am afraid you mis-attributed them. Lacewings (Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae) do not have clavate (clubbed) antennae. Some families of Neuroptera certainly do, but the commonest ones you are likely to see would be the Myrmeleontidae or ant lions. Lacewings have long, threadlike antennae.

Another difference is that the lacewings tend to carry their wings compactly and neatly laid in a tent shape over the abdomen. Ant lions have a more elongated shape, and often carry the wings untidily, like this specimen.

Keep looking and making connections; there is no more rewarding field of study for that than wild life, large or small!


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Re: Insect ID needed

Unread post by oddesy » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:38 am

Jon you are quite right now that I re-checked, thanks for correcting me :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: . In my insect collection I had what i remembered was a lacewing but it is in actual fact an antlion, i had labelled it correctly though. The lacewings i remember after your reminder have that tent type shape and we usually found lots of them in the long grass. Some were also quite small

Insects are really an interesting group :thumbs_up:
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