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This fantastic antlion looked like many other things ( a piece of moulted reptilian skin, an abandoned cobweb with trapped insects and even dried-up bird dropping.) as it clung to a dried twig. Pic 4 is a dorsal view and Pic 5 from the underside showing a dark abdomen. The head, thorax and abdomen were dark with the last abdominal segments showing some yellow. Antennae were short with slightly curved tips. The spectacular wings looked like lace with dark patterns of black and brown. When in flight, the frames of the wings were hardly visible, showing flashes of dark spatters. Body length (including long fore-wings and antennae) would have been about 50 mm.
Spotted on a dry Goodenia plant in a nature reserve. This species seems to be distributed along the coastal parts of the Australian mainland. http://biocache.ala.org.au/occurrences/s...
An absolutely delightful spotting for me...but difficult to photograph as it was resting right overhead several ant mounds with aggressive soldiers ! Getting photos of it with its wings open was more difficult as it flew clumsily through the tea-tree bushes and then came to rest on rushes growing in a swampy area. The larvae of these antlions build sand traps and wait just under the surface for an unsuspecting ant to walk past. They spray sand out when the prey walks past, causing a sand slide.. The ant slides into the trap and straight onto the waiting mandibles of the antlion larva. Order: Neuroptera Family: Myrmeleontidae Subfamily: Myrmeleontinae