Cymothales bouvieri

View the above photo record (by Gary Brown) in LacewingMAP here.

Cymothales bouvieri

van der Weele, 1907


Size: Small-Medium sized (Wingspan around 56mm)

One of Africa’s most exquisite and delicate antlions.

All members of the genus are beautiful antlions with very long, slender legs. The wings are iridescent with intricate brown and black markings. The hind wings end in elegant pointed tips.

Cymothales bouvieri – Monzi, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Toy Bodbijl


Cymothales bouvieri inhabits humid, tropical and subtropical savanna regions.


The delicate patterned wings provide camouflage while resting among dry twigs and branches. Adults are sometimes attracted to lights and are active from October to May.

Larvae live in detritus in tree holes, and are often found in small cavities in baobab trees.

Status and Distribution

Cymothales bouvieri is widely distributed from northern South Africa, to Kenya and across to Madagascar. In South Africa it is recorded from the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces. This is an uncommon species.

Distribution of Cymothales bouvieri. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, October 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae  Subfamily: Dendroleontinae Tribe: Dendroleontini Genus: Cymothales  Species: bouvieri

Further Resources

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


The use of photographs by Gary Brown 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. Cymothales bouvieri. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at

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!