Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Lacewing larva ?

Neuropterine larva


Free living larva with a broad, flattened, soft body tapering towards the rear and with compact but powerful-looking, pincer-like jaws at the front end; about 15mm long and dull brown in colour.


lightly trampled area near cattle pens supporting weedy vegetation which is drying up, on sandy soil


I only saw this little ugly critter by chance while chasing after a small grasshopper. As soon as the larva realised it had been seen it buried itself very rapidly by burrowing backwards at a 45 degree angle into the sand then moved a few inches away, still underground and then surfaced again, a quick shot and it was gone again. I suspect this is a type of lacewing larva rather than an antlion as the latter tend to have jaws which are widely spread

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


C.Sydes 8 years ago

Thanks Johan, I was basing my assumption on the good old SA Insect book again where the only antlion larvae pics showed wide spreading jaws while the 'unidentified nemopterine larva ' referred to under Nemia costalis had the shorter incurving jaws like my specimen

Johan Heyns
Johan Heyns 8 years ago

Hi C, this is the larval stage of the antlion. Normally this sits at the bottom of a small cone in the sand waiting for an ant to fall in.

Spotted by

Limpopo, South Africa

Spotted on Mar 17, 2013
Submitted on Mar 24, 2013

Spotted for Mission

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team