View the above photo record (by Ryan Tippett) in LacewingMAP here.
Size: Small (Wingspan around 44mm)
Myrmeleon alcestris is a very characteristic Myrmeleon owing to the black markings in the wings. The dark patches are especially conspicuous when the wings are folded at rest. This species also has a fairly distinctive abdomen pattern especially when seen from above.
Larvae: The larvae are small with relatively slender heads.
M. obscurus ocurrs in a wide variety of habitat types and has been recorded from most terrestrial biomes in South Africa.
Adults are most active during the summer months from October to April, but have been recorded throughout the year in the warmer parts of South Africa.
Frequently attracted to lights.
Members of the genus Myrmeleon are considered to be the most primitive antlions.
The larvae walk backwards and are typical pit-builders. The pits are frequently located out in the open.
Status and Distribution
Myrmeleon alcestris is common across its range. It is widespread in South Africa and is present in all provinces. The species extends into Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Myrmeleontinae Tribe: Myrmeleontini (Pit-trapping Antlions) Genus: Myrmeleon Species: alcestris
Virtual Museum (LacewingMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)
The use of photographs by Aletta Liebenberg, Dewald du Plessis and Zenobia van Dyk 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. Myrmeleon alcestris. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/11/09/myrmeleon-alcestris/