Badano, Davide (2013) The Larvae of European Myrmeleontidae and Ascalaphidae (Neuroptera). Doctoral Thesis.
Myrmeleontidae and Ascalaphidae are two closely related families of insects, belonging to the order Neuroptera, comprising respectively about 50 and 20 European species, mainly distributed in Mediterranean areas. The larvae of some genera of Myrmeleontidae are well known for the interesting behaviour to dig a conical pit trap in the sand. Most species are stenoecious, thus potentially useful as bio-indicators. The aim of the present research is to realize a dichotomic key to permit the identification of the larvae of the most common and distributed European genera and species, a necessary condition to undertake ecological studies. The present study, allowed to cover the preimaginal stages of 14 genera and 26 species of Myrmeleontidae and 5 genera and 12 species of Ascalaphidae. The identification key that results permits the identification of the most common and widespread genera and of most species of South-Western Europe; each taxon is described and illustrated in detail. The larvae of the following species are described for the first time: Neuroleon arenarius, N. assimilis, Megistopus lucasi, Myrmeleon gerlindae, Ascalaphus festivus, Bubopsis agrionoides, Deleproctophylla australis, Libelloides corsicus, L. siculus and L. latinus; while those of Dendroleon pantherinus, Macronemurus appendiculatus and particularly noteworthy Puer maculatus are re-described. The larvae of the two largest European genera: Neuroleon and Myrmeleon are reviewed.
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