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Ascaloptynx sp

Ascaloptynx sp.


Owlflies are dragonfly-like insects with large bulging eyes and long knobbed antennae. They are neuropterans in the family Ascalaphidae; they are only distantly related to the true flies, and even more distant from the dragonflies and damselflies. They are diurnal or crepuscular predators of other flying insects, and are typically 5 cm (2.0 in) long. Owlflies are readily distinguished from dragonflies because the latter have short bristle-like antennae. The closely related antlions (family Myrmeleontidae) have short, clubbed antennae, smaller eyes, and very different wing venation.


Adult owlflies are aerial predators feeding on other insects. When disturbed, some owlflies will release a strong, musk-like chemical to deter enemies. Adults of many New World species are most active at sunset and dawn and can often be collected around lights. During the day, such adults rest on stems and twigs with the body, legs, and antennae pressed to the stem. The abdomen in a few species is held up, projecting into the air, to look like a broken twig. Eggs are laid on twigs or under stones. Larvae are predatory, and lie on the ground or in vegetation, covered with debris, waiting for prey. Larvae resemble those of antlions, but have a "finger-like appendage" on the side of each segment. Some genera actively cement sand and debris onto their bodies as camouflage. Pupation occurs in a spheroidal silk cocoon in leaf litter.


Although these are the males and females, the exact ID is still unknown to me.

1 Species ID Suggestions

mjgierke 12 years ago

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VivBraznell 12 years ago

Stunning images and great information! Thank you : )

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 12 years ago


kadavoor 12 years ago

While several languages have their own terms for the Antlion adult (like Kuzhiyana in Malayalam), there is no widely used word for them in English.

KennethDG 12 years ago

Kadavoor is right the larva of an owlfly is called an antlion, I've searched about it after i saw one on a show on animal planet :)

XemaRomero 12 years ago


kadavoor 12 years ago

No, Chief RedEarth; both Antlion and Owlfly are Lacewings (Neuroptera) but are different families. Photo of adult Antlion:

kadavoor 12 years ago

Thanks, mjgierke.

CindyBinghamKeiser 12 years ago

Great series! I'm unable to see the fourth image. You may want to delete that image and re-upload.

kadavoor 12 years ago

Thanks, Argybee.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 12 years ago

That's excellent kadavoor. Great information. I have never heard of this creature. What an interesting spotting. Also sir your photos are superb. Thank you for sharing.

kadavoor 12 years ago

Thank you, Sachin.

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 12 years ago

Very Well Captured,

Spotted by

Kerala, India

Spotted on Apr 11, 2010
Submitted on Feb 3, 2012

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