Eophanes distincta (Banks)

Miller, Robert B. & Stange, Lionel A., 2012, The cave mouth antlions of Australia (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae), Insecta Mundi 2012 (250), pp. 1-65 : 23-24

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.5174820

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Eophanes distincta (Banks)


Eophanes distincta (Banks) View in CoL

( Figures 26, 27, 28)

Formicaleon distinctus Banks 1939: 457 View in CoL . Holotype male, Mullewa, Western Australia (ANIC). = Eophanes falcata Kimmins 1955 View in CoL (after New 1985c: 9). Holotype male, Monte Bello Island, Western

Australia (BMNH).

Further description: New 1985c: 9, figures 1081-1087 (wings), 1088- 1096 (male genitalia, terminalia; female terminalia).

Description. Adult: body length 30 to 38 mm, forewing 33 to 40 mm, hindwing 31 to 39 mm. Coloration: body pale yellow or yellowish brown, with brown or grayish brown markings; antenna with scape brown, flagellum pale brown, club somewhat darkened; palpi slightly grayish; face pale; frons dark brown, band centrally emarginate anteriorly; vertex with anterior brown band, sometimes broken into three spots and two posterior spots (sometimes fused); pronotum pale brown, with prominent submedial stripe, or with small brown spots on transverse furrow and larger dark brown marks along posterior border; foretibia with pale brown stripe; midfemur, midtibia, and hindfemur with brown streaking; wing venation mostly pale brown, but many crossveins brown; forewing cubital mark and rhegmal mark rather variable; pterostigma pale, in forewing with dark base; thorax and abdomen dorsally with median line of dark brown spots, and submedial, sublateral and lateral rows of spots; abdomen below with many brownish spots, prominent sublateral spot on sternite VIII. Chaetotaxy: clypeus with few long dark brown hairs; distal tarsomere with ventral setae at least one-half length of tarsomere diameter; female ectoproct with about eight short, thickened setae; lateral gonapophysis with about twenty thickened ventral setae. Structure: antenna with well defined fusiform club; pronotum slightly broader than long, anterior angles rounded, transverse furrow well developed; femoral sense hair about four times as long as diameter of femur; Miller’s organ present on metathorax, absent on sternite I; tibial spurs at least two-thirds length of basitarsus; pretarsal claws as long or longer than distal tarsomere, about equal in length to pretarsal claws; wings broad and falcate, venation as in Figure 27; forewing vein CuP + lA runs to hind margin at about level of origin of radial sector; hindwing with l presectoral crossvein; male pilula axillaris absent; male ectoproct and sternite IX deep; gonarcus broadly arched, shallow; mediuncus not evident; parameres convergent posteriorly, with strong inner dorsal flange at anterior margin. Female ectoproct broad; lateral gonapophysis broad; posterior gonapophysis slender, much longer than greatest diameter; pregenital plate transverse, oval with median slender hooked prominence; spermatheca slender, duct convoluted.

Larva: Coloration: mostly pale in color with reddish brown mandibles and pretarsal claws; head capsule mostly dark brown anteriorly at mandibular base; dorsum with most of lateral margin dark brown, with 3 submedian dark spots increasing in size posteriorly, and with dark brown V-shaped area anteriorly; venter of head capsule with double dark stripe at middle, small pale brown spot sublaterally toward posterior margin; pronotum with pale brown submedian stripes; abdomen dorsally with series of pale brown spots medially, submedially, and sublaterally. Chaetotaxy: head capsule without dolichasters; sternite IX with two groups of four stout digging setae submedially near posterior margin. Structure: head capsule about 1.5 times longer than wide, shorter than length of mandible; mandible with three teeth gradually increasing in length distally, middle tooth a little closer to distal tooth than to basal tooth; distance between teeth about equal to distance between base of mandible and basal tooth and also to the distance from the distal tooth to the apex; labial palpus a little longer than base of mandible, distal palpomere about twice as long as wide; antenna shorter than width of head capsule; mesothoracic spiracle borne on tubercle that is about as long as greatest diameter, not projecting; abdominal spiracles small, nearly flush with tegument; abdominal sternite VIII without submedian teeth near posterior margin; sternite IX about 1.5 times wider at anterior margin than long.

Distribution. South Australia ( New 1985c:10); Western Australia ( New 1985c: 9).

New records. AUSTRALIA. Western Australia: 37 km. east Pt. Hedland , S20 o 23' 34.6", E118 o 54' 27.5", 1. III.1994, Miller & Stange , reared (1f, FSCA) GoogleMaps ; 20 km. north Meekatharra , S26 o 25', 22.7" E118 o 35’25.6", 9. III.1994, Miller & Stange , reared (2f, FSCA) GoogleMaps ; 68 km. north Nanutarra , S21 o 59’37", E115 o 37' 49.1", 28. II.1994, Miller & Stange , reared (f, FSCA) GoogleMaps ; 126 km. north Nanutarra , E21 o 35' 36.4", E115 o 56’3.3" (1m, FSCA) ; Tallering Peak, 70 km. north Mullewa , S28 o 05' 36.8", E115 o 38' 37.6". 23. II.1994, Miller & Stange , reared (4m, 3f, FSCA) GoogleMaps .

Discussion. This rather large pale brown species is widespread in Western Australia and there are a few records from South Australia. The larvae live in the back of caves (Zone 4B) together with larvae of Xantholeon . The adults have huge pretarsal claws and strong tibial spurs and it is likely they predate on adult antlions. The larva also are probably predators of other antlion larvae in the cave, especially larvae of Xantholeon . The second instar larva has a more prominent mesothoracic spiracle which is borne on a tubercle that is longer than wide. The major distinction from Xantholeon are the broad, falcate wings.


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology














Eophanes distincta (Banks)

Miller, Robert B. & Stange, Lionel A. 2012

Formicaleon distinctus

New, T. 1985: 9
Banks, N. 1939: 457
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