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Genus Myrmeleon - Pit-trapping Antlions

Antlion - Myrmeleon mobilis Family Myrmeleontidae - Myrmeleon immaculatus Myrmeleon immaculatus? - Myrmeleon Myrmeleon Myrmeleon? - Myrmeleon Myrmeleon immaculatus Antlion - Myrmeleon immaculatus Antlion? - Myrmeleon
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies)
Suborder Myrmeleontiformia (Antlions and Allies)
Family Myrmeleontidae (Antlions including Owlflies)
Subfamily Myrmeleontinae (Giant, Long-tailed, and Pit-trapping Antlions)
Tribe Myrmeleontini (Pit-trapping Antlions)
Genus Myrmeleon (Pit-trapping Antlions)
Other Common Names
Pit-digging Antlions
Explanation of Names
Myrmeleon Linnaeus 1767
From Greek myrmex (μιρμηξ, μιρμηκ-) 'ant' + leon (λεων) 'lion'(1).
12 spp. in our area(2)(3)
1. Myrmeleon arizonicus Banks, 1943: southwestern (AZ, TX)
2. Myrmeleon californicus Banks, 1943: southwestern (CA)
3. Myrmeleon carolinus Banks, 1943: southeastern (GA, NC)
4. Myrmeleon crudelis Walker, 1853: eastern (FL, GA, MO, NC, NJ, NY, TX, VA)
5. Myrmeleon exitialis Walker, 1853 western (Canada: BC; United States: AZ, CA, NV)
6. Myrmeleon immaculatus DeGeer, 1773: eastern (Canada: ON, QC; United States: DC, FL, GA, IN, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, VA, WI)
7. Myrmeleon insertus Hagen, 1861: southeastern (FL)
8. Myrmeleon invisus Walker, 1853: (south)eastern (FL, NC, NJ)
9. Myrmeleon mexicanus: southwestern (AZ)
10. Myrmeleon mobilis Hagen, 1888: southeastern (AL, FL, GA, MO, NC)
11. Myrmeleon rusticus Hagen, 1861: western (AZ, CA, NM, UT, WY)
12. Myrmeleon texanus Banks, 1990: southern (TX)
the only genus in our area whose larvae make the funnel-shaped pits
6 eastern and 5 western spp.; the only species that range into Canada are the western M. exitialis (BC)(3) and the eastern M. immaculatus (ON, QC)
Life Cycle
Larvae dig a shallow pit in loose sand to trap prey:
Print References
Lucas J.R., Stange L.A. (1981) Key and descriptions to the Myrmeleon larvae of Florida (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). Florida Ent. 64: 207-216. (Full text)