Centroclisis mendax

View the above photo record (by G. Myburgh) in LacewingMAP here.

Centroclisis mendax

Navás, 1912


Size: Large sized (Wingspan around 100mm)

The adults are pale grey hirsute antlions with stout bodies. The wings are relatively short and broad with rounded tips. This species can be recognised by the black line that runs through the middle of each fore-wing.

Centroclisis mendax – Danielskuil, Northern Cape
Photo by Aletta Liebenberg
Centroclisis mendax – Tsanakona, Botswana
Photo by G. Myburgh

Larvae: Nothing is known about the larvae of this species, although it is likely to resemble the larvae of other Centroclisis spp.

Centroclisis larvae are large and dark coloured. They have relatively short yet robust jaws.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Centroclisis-sp.-700x468.jpg
Centroclisis sp. Larvae  – Ponta du ouro, Mozambique
Photo by Len de Beer


Centroclisis mendax inhabits hot, dry areas such as the Kalahari and Karoo regions. Frequents arid woodlands as well as dry, open scrublands.

Habitat – Near Prieska, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Adults are sluggish and normally rest against tree bark where they are very well camouflaged. Centroclisis mendax is readily attracted to light. Adults are recorded during Summer from October to February.

Centroclisis mendax – Near Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett

As in other Centroclis species, the large, dark larvae are voracious predators, which inhabit loose sand. They come to the surface at night to lie in wait for prey. They ambush their prey and do not construct pit-fall traps.

Status and Distribution

Centroclisis mendax is fairly common and widespread in Southern Africa. It occurs in Namibia, Botswana and the drier north and west of South Africa.

Distribution of Centroclisis mendax. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, July 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae  Genus: Centroclisis Species: mendax

Centroclisis mendax – Danielskuil, Northern Cape
Photo by Aletta Liebenberg

Further Resources

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


The use of photographs by Aletta Liebenberg and G. Myburgh 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. Centroclisis mendax. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/10/03/centroclisis-mendax/

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!