Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Antlion Winged Adult (Myrmeleon sp.) Sumatra Indonesia

Photos in this post were taken in Bengkulu Sumatra Indonesia. The insect at the photos is an antlion (Myrmeleon sp.) in adult form. This insect is rarely seen as it typically active only in the evening. As we can see from above photos, even the name of it is an antlion, there is no resemblance at all to the ant nor lion. Actually, it gets its common name as antlion from the unique appearance when it is in larva form.

In its adult form, as in the photos above, the antlion has two pairs of long, narrow, multi-veined transparent wings with white color at pterostigma. The abdomen is long and slender in greyish brown color. It has prominent, apically clubbed short antennae which are about as long as head and thorax combined. The size of the body is about 30 to 40mm, while in its larvae form its only about 10mm.
The larva form of an antlion is very much different to its adult form. The larva form of this insect has a short and conical abdomen form and doesn't have wings. In its larva form, this insect can only walking backward. This what makes it also has another common name as "Back walker insect" or in Indonesia we call it as "undur-undur" that means the insect that always walking backward. This larva makes a pit trap at a dry fine soil and lives as a predator.

Scientific classification:
Phylum : Arthropoda - Arthropods
Class : Insecta - Insects
Order : Neuroptera - Antlions, Lacewings and Allies
Suborder : Myrmeleontiformia
Family : Myrmeleontidae - Antlions
Genus : Myrmeleon


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