Cueta infima

View the above photo record (by Craig Peter) in LacewingMAP here.

Cueta infima

(Gerstaecker, 1885)

Identification

Size: Small (Wingspan around 58mm)

Most Cueta species are flesh-coloured antlions with dark brown patterning and stripes on the abdomen and thorax. The wings are clear with numerous, small dark brown speckles or dark veins.

Cueta infima is very similar to other species of the genus, but may be distinguished by more heavily marked wing veins, genitalic features and abdominal pattern.

There are several other similar looking species in the genus.

Larvae: The larvae are pinkish and largely indistinguishable from those of other Cueta species.

Cueta infima – Riebeek East, Eastern Cape
Photo by J.A. Harrison
Cueta infima – Karoo-Gariep Nature Reserve, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Habitat

Inhabits Nama-Karoo and thicket habitats, mainly in the Summer rainfall zone.

Habitat – Karoo-Gariep Nature Reserve, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Behaviour

Adults are nocturnal and they are regularly attracted to lights. They are active during Summer and have been recorded from November to April.

The larvae are typical pit-builders and often construct pits in completely exposed situations, and are able to tolerate fairly high temperatures.

Cueta infima – Karoo National Park, Western Cape
Photo by Alan Manson

Status and Distribution

Cueta infima is common but has a fairly limited distribution. Its range is mainly centred on the Eastern Cape but also occurs in neighbouring parts of the Western Cape and the south-eastern parts of the Northern Cape.

Distribution of Cueta infima. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, November 2022.

Taxonomy

Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Myrmeleontinae Tribe: Nesoleontini Genus: Cueta Species: infima

Cueta infima – Karoo National Park, Western Cape
Photo by Alan Manson

Further Resources

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

Acknowledgements:

The use of photographs by Alan Manson, Craig Peter and J.A. Harrison 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. Cueta infima. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/11/15/cueta-infima/

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!