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Genus Myrmeleon - Pit-trapping Antlions

Antlion???? - Myrmeleon Antlion - Myrmeleon immaculatus Antlion - Myrmeleon sand trap building ant lion - Myrmeleon immaculatus Antlion - Myrmeleon immaculatus ? - Myrmeleon Neuroptera? - 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 (all in the nominate subgenus); ~175 spp. worldwide in 2 subgenera(2)(3)
1. Myrmeleon arizonicus Banks, 1943: southwestern (AZ, CA, TX?)
2. Myrmeleon californicus Banks, 1943: southwestern (AZ, CA, NV)
3. Myrmeleon carolinus Banks, 1943: southeastern (FL, GA, NC, SC)
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, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT)
6. Myrmeleon immaculatus DeGeer, 1773: eastern (Canada: ON, QC; United States: DC, FL, GA, IN, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, VA, WI)
7. Myrmeleon insertus Hagen, 1861: southeastern (FL, Keys)
8. Myrmeleon invisus Walker, 1853: (south)eastern (FL, GA, NC, TX; 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.

Myrmeleon adults are typically recognizable in photos by their stockier build, white pterostigmas, and (often) simpler body markings.
6 eastern and 5 western spp.; the only species that range into Canada are the western M. exitialis (BC)(2) and the eastern M. immaculatus (ON, QC)
Life Cycle
Larvae dig a shallow, funnel-shaped pit in loose sand to trap prey. They are only capable of moving backwards.(4)
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)
Works Cited
1.The Century Dictionary: an encyclopedic lexicon of the English language
2.Species catalog of the Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera of America North of Mexico
Penny N.D., Adams P.A., Stange L.A. 1997. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50: 39-114.
3.A systematic catalog, bibliography, and classification of the world antlions (Insecta: Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae)
Lionel Alvin Stange. 2004. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 74: [iv]+565 pp,.
4.The ant-lions of Florida. II. Genera based on larvae (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae)
Lionel A. Stange. 1980. Entomology Circular No. 221.