Crambomorphus sinuatus

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

Crambomorphus sinuatus

(Olivier, 1811)


Size: Very Large (Wingspan up to 122mm)

Crambomorphus sinuatus is a magnificent antlion species. The head and thorax are grey and rather hairy while the abdomen is brick-red in colouration.

The forewings are mostly grey with a complex mix of black and white markings. The hindwings are black with a characteristic arrangement of white spots and blotches. The trailing edge of the wings are sinuous and end in a hooked tip.

Larvae: The larvae are very large and plain black-grey in colour.

Crambomorphus sinuatus – Near Williston, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett
Crambomorphus sinuatusBushmanskloof, Western Cape
Photo by Zenobia van Dyk


C. sinuatus inhabits the open, arid shrublands of the Nama Karoo in flat or hilly terrain.

Habitat – Near Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Adults are nocturnal and often rest in a hanging position among the protective branches of larger bushes. They are sometimes attracted to lights.

Crambomorphus sinuatusNear Williston, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Adults are active during late summer and have been recorded from December to February.

The large blackish larvae live freely in sand and are ambush hunters. They are fearsome predators and feed mainly on other arthropods.

Crambomorphus sinuatusBushmanskloof, Western Cape
Photo by Zenobia van Dyk

Status and Distribution

Crambomorphus sinuatus is an uncommon species and is endemic to South Africa. Its distribution is largely centred in the Karoo and Namaqualand.

Distribution of Crambomorphus sinuatus. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, October 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Palparinae Tribe: Palparini Genus: Crambomorphus Species:  sinuatus

Crambomorphus sinuatusNear Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Zenobia van Dyk

Further Resources

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


The use of photographs by Alex Dreyer, Katharina Reddig and Niall Perrins 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. Crambomorphus sinuatus. 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!