Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:45 am

Spoon- and Ribbon-wings Semirhynchia brincki
Family: Nemopteridae
Subfamily: Nemopterinae

Nemopteridae are a charismatic family of lacewings characterized by uniquely extended hind wings. They are an ancient widespread group in the drier regions of the world. The family comprises two subfamilies:

1. Crocinae (thread-wings)
2. Nemopterinae (spoon- and ribbon-wings).

Image
Oct. 2013 KTC in Kgalagadi TP

In southern Africa 72 species of Nemopteridae occur, which is 48 %, or nearly half, of the world’s species. The vast majority of these, 57 species (38% of the world fauna) are endemic to the Western and Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa.

Excluding the subfamily Crocinae (thread-wings), the southern African Nemopterinae (spoon- and ribbon-wings) comprise 57% (62 species), more than half, of the global fauna, with 47% of the world’s taxa (51 species) being endemic to the Western and Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa.

Image
Nov. 2013 KTC in Kgalagadi TP

This species inhabits the dry areas of southern Africa and seems to be a Kalahari endemic. It is common in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park)

The Cape nemopterines are consequently a unique and rich biological heritage that requires special research and conservation attention. While the subfamily Crocinae is comparatively well known, knowledge of the taxonomy, biology, phylogeny, local biogeography and conservation status of the Nemopterinae remains inadequate. Though the conservation of Crocinae is reasonably assured owing to their arid and rocky habitats, unsuited to agriculture, the Nemopterinae are extremely vulnerable, as many of the habitats of the rare Cape endemics have already been destroyed by agricultural and urban expansion, with the remainder being severely threatened.

The spoon- and ribbon-wing lacewings represent yet another category of the rich heritage of global fauna with which South Africa has been blessed. She, in tandem with the world community, as their custodians owe protective stewardship and conservation to ensure its survival for all future generations.

Links: Phylogeny and biogeography of southern African spoon-winged lacewings (Neuroptera: Nemopteridae: Nemopterinae)
Last edited by ExFmem on Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:23 pm

Grassland Antlion Creoleon mortifer*
Family Myrmeleontidae
* ID by ADU Lacewing Project

Myrmeleontidae is the largest lacewing family, comprising medium to very large (wingspan 26 - 160 mm), insects that superficially resemble dragonflies, but have short antennae usually ending in a club. Wings iridescent, often intricately marked in brown and black. Most are attracted to lights in summer and autumn. Some larvae build funnel shaped pits in the sand, and occur in rain shadows, but most have free living larvae that roam under the sand. Almost half the region's 125 species occur in arid western areas.

Image
Kgalagadi TP

Distribution
A common and widespread species, occurring throughout most of southern Africa and northward.

Description
It is highly variable, often with black streaks in the wings that have led to numerous synonyms. Rests with wings wrapped around the body.

Biology
Larvae live freely in sand.
Last edited by ExFmem on Fri May 08, 2015 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:33 pm

Antlion (Pit-building or Grassland Antlion) Cueta sp*
Family Myrmeleontidae

*This is an undescribed species, which is very common and widespread in the drier areas of western SA." (Per ADU Virtual Museum Lacewing Project)

Myrmeleontidae is the largest lacewing family, comprising medium to very large (wingspan 26 - 160 mm), insects that superficially resemble dragonflies, but have short antennae usually ending in a club. Wings iridescent, often intricately marked in brown and black. Most are attracted to lights in summer and autumn. Some larvae build funnel shaped pits in the sand, and occur in rain shadows, but most have free living larvae that roam under the sand. Almost half the region's 125 species occur in arid western areas

Image
Kgalagadi TP
Last edited by ExFmem on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:48 am

Striped Antlion, Gregarious Antlion Hagenomyia tristis
Family: Myrmeleontidae

Image © BluTuna
Hartebeeshoek, NW Province
Image © BluTuna
Hartebeeshoek, NW Province
Image © BluTuna
Hartebeeshoek, NW Province

Description
Medium-sized (wingspan 70 mm), with broad iridescent blue wings, yellow thorax marked in black, black abdomen, and yellow legs.

Distribution
Widespread in East and Southern Africa.

Habitat
On soft vegetation under trees.

Biology
Highly gregarious.

Links: The Antlions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) of South Africa (Checklist), Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths, Alan Weaving: Field Guide to Insects of South Africa

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:30 pm

Thread-wing Lacewing Laurhervasia setacea
Family: Nemopteridae. Subfamily Crocinae

Image © nan

Image © nan
Nossob, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Description
Small with a wingspan of 25 mm, length of hind wings 40 mm. Fragile, thread-like hind wings without terminal dilations.
Adult characteristics of the genus Laurhervasia: Long narrow rostrum; antennae about one third the length of the forewing; 3 crossveins usually present between Rand M before Rs.; males with bullae in the hindwings; pleuritocavae absent; abdominal tergite 9 in the male not divided dorsally; ectoprocts with large callus cerci; sternite 9 flat and short; parameres with large apical regions which are enclosed in a membrane; proximal projections present on the parameres; gonosetae present but spinellae absent; tergite 9 in the female divided into two; lateral plates of sternite 8 fused with the gonapophyses laterales.
Larvae are characterized by the extreme elongation of the prothorax (longer than twice the head length) and a cave dwelling habit.
All the known crocin larvae are able to move backwards and forwards and are capable of climbing vertical cave walls, often using this ability to retreat when disturbed. Laurhervasia larvae have long legs, are extremely agile and capable of rapid locomotion. Normally however, they lie concealed among the dust and debris in the cave with the abdomen buried in the substrate, leaving the head and thorax exposed. The whole insect is covered with a layer of fine dust, which enhances concealment, making the larvae very difficult to detect as long as they remain motionless. They only seem to move when disturbed or in pursuit of prey.

Disttribution
Widespread in South Africa and Namibia, occurring from Damaraland southwards to Worcester and Montagu in the Western Cape then eastwards to Meiringspoort and along the Orange river to Colesburg.

Habitat
Rain shadows, rock ledges or cave mouths in arid and semi-arid regions.
Larvae inhabit small caves and areas under rock overhangs, where they live in fine dry sand or dust.

Biology
Adults appear in late summer, and rise and fall in flight in the same spot near rock walls.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings - Photos & Descripti

Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:25 am

Antlion Creoleon sp.
Family Myrmeleontidae

Image © Tina
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Nossob camp

The Family Myrmeleontidae is the largest lacewing family with about 125 species recorded. They are medium to very large (wingspan 26-160 mm) and have short antennae usually ending in a club. Wings iridescent, often intricately marked in brown and black. Characteristic lazy, flapping flight. Most are attracted to lights in summer and autumn.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings (Neuroptera)

Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:31 pm

Mottled Silky Lacewing Silveira jordani
Family: Psychopsidae; Subfamily: Zygophlebiinae

The family Psychopsidae is a small group of medium-sized lacewings with prominently and finely setose (“silky”) wings. Because of their broadly triangular—and sometimes colorfully patterned—forewings, the living members of this family have long been noted to superficially resemble butterflies, from which the name of the type genus of the family, Psychopsis, is derived (Greek: psyche, butterfly, + opsis, appearance).

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Diversity
There are presently five genera and 26 valid described species of living silky lacewings. These taxa are found in three widely disjunct regions of the world: central and southern Africa (Cabralis, Silveira, and Zygophlebius), Australia (Psychopsis), and southeastern Asia (Balmes). The genus Silveira has 4 species (S. jordani, marshalli, occultus, and rufus), and no subspecies.

They are a relic group, and a considerable number of psychopsid and psychopsid-like forms are also known strictly from fossil remains. Fossils that can be attributed with some certainty to the Psychopsidae are known from Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. These fossils, which range in age from the Triassic to the Tertiary, provide evidence that the global distribution of the family was formerly much larger than it is today.

Identification of Psychopsidae
The silky lacewings are distinguishable in their adult stage by their spectacularly patterned and pubescent wings, broad wing shape, dense venation, and the presence of a vena triplica (the apical fusion of three veins in the hindwing), {though this latter marker has come under question by some (OSWALD, J. D. (1993)}. Psychopsid adults are usually easily identifiable to genus on the basis of a combination of collecting location, head structure, and wing markings.

Silveira jordani is one of the smallest silky lacewings.

Biology
Little is known about the biology of psychopsids. No published information is available regarding the immature stages and habits of the African or Asian species, although several African species are known to have been reared.

Adult psychopsids appear to rest during the day and to feed at night. Little is known about their feeding behavior, but they may feed on sap, be predaceous, or both. The morphologies of the male and female terminalia of all examined species contain closely co-adapted ‘lock and key’ structures that are engaged during copulation. These structures undoubtedly act as effective physical, pre-zygotic barriers to interspecific mating. The bulbous abdominal apex of female psychopsids is highly modified for a specialized suite and sequence of ovipositional behaviors. These include the external acquisition and internal sequestration of a small mass of granular, vegetable, or mineral material; the active manipulation of eggs, after their emergence from the ovipore, to coat them with the sequestered granular material prior to laying; and, apparently, the directed oviposition of coated eggs while the female is engaged in flight.
*********
OSWALD, J. D. (1993) Phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of extant silky lacewings (Insecta: Neuroptera: Psychopsidae). Memoirs of the American Entomological Society 40: 1–65.
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item ... 1/mode/1up
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/pdf4 ... 120083.pdf

Key to lacewing IDs
Key to the Psychopsidae Genera of the World
Last edited by ExFmem on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings (Neuroptera)

Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:51 pm

Pit-building Antlion Myrmeleon alcestris
Family: Myrmeleontidae

Myrmeleontidae is of Greek origin from myrmex, meaning "ant", and leon, meaning "lion".

Ant Lion applies to the immature or larval stages of the members of this family. The larvae are voracious predators of ants and other small insects that become entrapped in the conical pits constructed by the larvae, while the adult stage feeds on nectar and pollen.

Ant Lion larvae (Myrmeleon sp.) are also known as doodlebugs. This nickname is apparently in reference to the randomly winding and spiraling trails that young larvae make in the sand while seeking a suitable location to construct its larval home. The trails look like someone has been idly doodling in the sand.

Image
Kieliekrankie KTP

Description
Myrmeleon species are small (44mm), dull, body brown or grey, sometimes cream underneath. Wings generally unmarked. The most primitive antlions.

Habitat
More common in drier areas.

Life Cycle
The larva is a fearsome-appearing creature and its head bears a very impressive and sizable pair of sicklelike jaws (known as mandibles) that are armed with numerous sharp, hollow projections. The mandibles have a piercing-sucking function. After seizing its prey, the larva paralyzes it with poison injected at the first bite. Additional digestive enzymes are injected to breakdown the internal tissues of its prey and the larva then sucks out its vital juices. After consuming the liquefied contents of the prey's body, an Ant Lion larva rather unceremoniously flicks the lifeless, drained carcass out of the pit. Thereafter, the larva repairs the pit once again for the next unsuspecting victim.

Ant Lion larvae eventually pupate in the soil. Adults resemble dragonflies and damselflies except the Ant Lion folds its wings back in a tent-like fashion while resting. Adults are primarily active in the evening. During the day, the adults rest and are usually motionless and quite well-camouflaged by its transparent wings and grey to brownish body. Also in contrast to dragonflies and damselflies, the antennae of ant-lion adults are quite prominent and club-shaped at the end.

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_view_db.php

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings (Neuroptera)

Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:22 pm

Neuroleon sp.*
Family: Myrmeleontidae

*Cannot determine further, probably undescribed per ADU Lacewing Project.

Distribution
The genus Neuroleon Navás, 1909 includes about 120 valid species and is confined to Africa, southern Europe and large parts of Asia (Hölzel 1986; Aspöck et al. 2001).

Habitat
Scantily vegetated arid areas.

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Oct. 2013

Identification
Small (wingspan 36mm), superficially resembling Myrmeleon. Body mottled grey, abdomen short. Wings with quite heavy black markings over veins and V-shaped mark at tip.

Biology
Larvae live in fine sand under rock overhangs or in sand at the base of trees.

Re: AW Insect Book: Antlions, Lacewings (Neuroptera)

Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:24 pm

Grassland Antlion Creoleon sp.
Family: Myrmeleontidae

Probably an undescribed species of Creoleon per ADU Lacewing Project

Image
KTP Sept. 11, 2014