View the above photo record (by Gary Brown) in LacewingMAP here.
Size: Small to medium sized (Wingspan around 58mm)
Banyutus lethalis is mimicked by the gregarious African antlion, Hagenomyia tristis and the two bear a close resemblance. B. lethalis has longer antennae and clear wings with prominent black veining and a bicoloured pterostigma. H. tristis has shorter antennae, slightly irridescent wings with inconspicuous black veins and has smaller white pterostigmas.
Larvae: The larvae have dark, blackish colouration.
Banyutus lethalis inhabits savanna woodland and forest regions. Adults are often found among tall grass in the dappled light beneath trees.
The adults are nocturnal and spend the day resting among tall grass. They are frequently attracted to light. Banyutus lethalis is gregarious and often flies in mixed swarms with Hagenomyia tristis, which it closely resembles – in a mimicry complex.
The black larvae live freely in fine, shallow sand and often prey on other antlion larvae.
In South Africa adults are on the wing from September to May, although it is most commonly recorded from November to March.
Status and Distribution
B. lethalis is common and has a very wide distribution in eastern South Africa, extending northwards into Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC.
Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Myrmeleontinae Tribe: Nemoleontini Genus: Banyutus Species: lethalis
Virtual Museum (LacewingMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)
The use of photographs by Andre Harmse, Chris Meyer, Gert Bensch, Gary Brown, Ian Riddell and Toy Bodbijl is acknowledged. This species text has benefited enormously from comments made by Mervyn Mansell on records he has identified in LacewingMAP. We acknowledge his important contribution.
Recommended citation format for this species text:
Tippett RM 2022. Banyutus lethalis. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/07/28/banyutus-lethalis/