Creoleon mortifer

View the above photo record (by Rick Nuttall) in LacewingMAP here.

Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)

Creoleon mortifer

(Walker, 1853)


Size: Small to medium (Wingspan around 60mm)

Creoleon mortifer is a highly variable species, often with black and/or brown streaks in the wings that have led to numerous synonyms. The overall body colour is grey.

Larvae: Not much is known about the larvae of this species.

Creoleon mortifer– Near Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett
Creoleon mortiferMiddleburg, Eastern Cape
Photo by Zenobia van Dyk


Creoleon mortifer occupies a wide range of habitats from forest and savanna to fynbos and arid Karoo scrub.

Habitat – Near Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Adults are nocturnal and they are regularly attracted to lights. Rests with wings wrapped around the body.

Adults are active during summer and have been recorded from September to May.

The larvae live freely in the sand but little else is known about them.

Creoleon mortiferNear Carnarvon, Northern Cape
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Status and Distribution

Creoleon mortifer is widespread across Southern Africa. It is common in both the arid west and the moister east of the sub-region.

Distribution of Creoleon mortifer. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, November 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Nemoleontinae Tribe: Nemoleontini Genus: Creoleon Species: mortifer

Creoleon mortiferBloemfontein, Free State
Photo by Rick Nuttall

Further Resources

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


The use of photographs by Aletta Liebenberg, Rick Nuttall 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. Creoleon mortifer. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at

Creoleon mortifer – Danielskuil, Northern Cape
Photo by Aletta Liebenberg
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!