Distoleon pulverulentus

View the above photo record (by Alan Manson) in LacewingMAP here.

Myrmeleontidae (Antlions)

Distoleon pulverulentus

(Rambur, 1842)


Size: Small

Distoleon pulverulentus is generally dark gey in colouration with yellow accents, particularly on the thorax. The legs are yellow and the wings are clear with many small black speckles and yellow veins.

Larvae: Nothing is known of its larvae.

Distoleon pulverulentus – Garden Castle, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Craig Peter
Distoleon pulverulentusGrootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Photo by Andrew & Heather Hodgson


Distoleon pulverulentus inhabits mid to high altitude grassland, often in mountainous regions. It is fairly common in the Drakensberg grasslands.

Habitat – Near Himeville, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Adults are most active during the late summer months from December to April. They are readily attracted to lights.

Distoleon pulverulentus is most often encountered at rest as they cling vertically to grass stems and are frequently flushed along grass-lined pathways.

Distoleon pulverulentus – Mating pair – Near Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Photo by Craig Peter

Status and Distribution

Distoleon pulverulentus is widespread but thinly distributed in South Africa. It can, however, be fairly common at some sites such as the grasslands of the Drakensberg. It has been recorded from all provinces in South Africa and is also known from Lesotho and Swaziland.

Distribution of Distoleon pulverulentus. Taken from the LacewingMAP database, November 2022.


Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Nemoleontinae Tribe: Nemoleontini (Pit-trapping Antlions) Genus: Distoleon Species: pulverulentus

Distoleon pulverulentus – Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Photo by Andrew & Heather Hodgson

Further Resources

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


The use of photographs by Alan Manson, Andrew & Heather Hodgson and Craig Peter 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 obscurus. Biodiversity and Development Institute, Cape Town.
Available online at http://thebdi.org/2022/12/11/distoleon-pulverulentus/

Distoleon pulverulentus – Near Steynsburg, Eastern Cape
Photo by Alan Manson
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!