Palpares cataractae

View the above photo record (by John Wilkinson) in LacewingMAP here.

Palpares cataractae

Péringuey, 1910


Size: Very Large

Palpares cataractae is a very large and robust antlion. 

Originally described from Victoria Falls – hence the name cataractae.

Larvae: The larvae of this species are unknown.

Palpares cataractae – Makalali Game Reserve, Limpopo
Photo by Ross Hawkins
Palpares cataractae Makalali Game Reserve, Limpopo
Photo by Ross Hawkins


Palpares cataractae is a species of hot savanna regions in the north of South Africa.


Palpares cataractae is occasionally attracted to light.

Nothing is known about the larvae of this species.

Adults are recorded during the early summer months and are on the wing from September to January.

Palpares cataractae– Tsanakona, Botswana
Photo by Gert Myburgh

Status and Distribution

Palpares cataractae is uncommon in South Africa where it occurrs to the north of the country in the Limpopo province. Ranges further north into Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Distribution of Palpares cataractae. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, July 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Palparinae Tribe: Palparini Genus: Palpares Species: cataractae

Palpares cataractaeTsanakona, Botswana
Photo by Gert Myburgh

Further Resources

Virtual Museum (LacewingMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)


The use of photographs by Gert Myburgh, John Wilkinson and Ross Hawkins 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. Palpares cataractae. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at

Palpares cataractaeTsanakona, Botswana
Photo by Gert Myburgh
Ryan Tippett
Ryan Tippett
Ryan is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the Virtual Museum since 2014 and has currently submitted over 12,000 records. He is on the expert identification panel for the OdonataMAP project. Ryan is a well-qualified and experienced Field Guide, and Guide Training Instructor. He has spent the last 18 years in the guiding and tourism industries. Ryan loves imparting his passion and knowledge onto others, and it is this that drew him into guide training in particular. Something that he finds incredibly rewarding is seeing how people he's had the privilege of teaching have developed and gone on to greater things. His interests are diverse and include Dragonflies, Birding, Arachnids, Amphibians, wild flowers and succulents, free diving and experiencing big game on foot. With this range of interests, there is always likely be something special just around the corner!