7 Aug 2015

Antlion in Tabuk – Record by Viv Wilson

Antlion is a name applied to a group of about 2,000 species of insects in the family Myrmeleontidae. Strictly speaking, the term “antlion" applies to the larval form of the members of this family and the adults are called "antlion lacewings". Antlions are worldwide in distribution, most common in arid and sandy habitats. The antlion larvae eat small arthropods, mainly ants, while the adults of some species eat small pollen and nectar, while others are predators of small arthropods in the adult stage too. The adult has two pairs of long, narrow, multi-veined wings in which the apical veins enclose regular oblong spaces, and a long, slender abdomen. Although they greatly resemble dragonflies or damselflies, they belong to an entirely different infraclass among the winged insects. Antlions are easily distinguished from damselflies by their prominent, apically clubbed antennae which are about as long as head and thorax combined. They also are very feeble fliers and are normally found fluttering about in the night, in search of a mate. The adult is thus rarely seen in the wild because it is typically active only in the evening. I would like to thank Viv Wilson for allowing me to use his photographs on my website and Mansur Al Fahad for identifying the insect for me.
Antlion

Antlion

Antlion

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