Glenurus is a genus of antlion that contains 9 subspecies. It has large, dark-marked wings. This genus is unique from other genera of Myrmeleontidae by larvae having only two mandibular teeth. The larvae live in dry tree holes, under rocks, or under tree roots. They move very slowly, but adults in some species can move very quickly. (Stange, 2000; Stange and Miller, 2015)

Geographic Range

Antlions are distributed throughout the United States in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee. Species of this genus have been found in Mexico and Argentina. (Stange, 1970; Stange, 2000)


Larve live in dry tree holes, rotting wood, under rocks and tree roots, tree stumps, and in gopher tortoise burrows. Many larvae are found in the presence of animal waste and wood debris. Antlion larvae are commonly found in and around southern live oak trees. (Stange, 2000; Stange and Miller, 2015)

Physical Description

Adult antlions have an elongated body and four wings. They resemble dragonflies and damselflies in appearance. Its wings are the most striking part of its bodies. The wings of most subspecies are long, similarly shaped, partially transparent, and patterned with dark coloring. Glenurus heteropteryx is the only species of the genus that does not have dark coloring on both wings. Larvae of antlions have two mandibular teeth. They are cone-shaped and have small tufts of hair. (Stange, 1970; Stange and Miller, 2015)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike


Not much is known about oviposition and eggs of antlions. Depending on the amount of available food and temperature, the larval stage can last for up to two years. Once fully grown, the larvae create a cocoon in debris that measures around 13 mm in diameter. Adults leave the cocoon up to 28 days after it was built. (Stange and Miller, 2015)


No information about mating systems for this genus was found.

Eggs hatch after fertilization and larvae emerge. (Stange and Miller, 2015)

No information about parental involvement for this genus was found. (Stange and Miller, 2015)

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement


The life cycle of antlions is 1-2 years. (Stange and Miller, 2015)


Antlions are found in and around tree holes, in burrows of animals, and under rocks. Adults are attracted to light and can be seen flying near light sources at night. Larvae may dig or chase prey. Sometimes, the larvae will lay in wait of prey. (Stange, 2000; Stange and Miller, 2015)

Communication and Perception

Not much is known about the communication and perception of antlions. They may use visual, chemical, and tactical perception. Chemical and tactical communication is likely.

Food Habits

Antlions are a genus of predators. Adults often feed on caterpillars and aphids. Larvae feed on the insects that share their habitats, such as ants, beetle larvae, termites, and other insect larvae like tineid moths. (Stange and Miller, 2015)


The larvae of antlions are cryptic; they use their cone-shape as a camouflage. Parasites and predators of this genus are not known. (Stange and Miller, 2015)

  • Anti-predator Adaptations
  • cryptic

Ecosystem Roles

Antlions are a genus of insect predators. Larvae and adults hunt and catch insects. Spotted-winged antlions, members of a different genus in the same family, have been recorded living in the same habit.

Mutualist Species

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The hunting and feeding habits of antlions in this genus benefit humans by controlling pest populations.

  • Positive Impacts
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse effects of antlions on humans.

Conservation Status

No special status.

  • IUCN Red List [Link]
    Not Evaluated


Deena Hauze (author), Animal Diversity Web Staff.



living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map


living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.


animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature


union of egg and spermatozoan


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body


A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.


active during the night


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.


remains in the same area


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).


uses sight to communicate


Penny, N., P. Adams, L. Stange. 1997. Species catalog of the Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera of America North of Mexico. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 50(3): 39-114. Accessed May 15, 2020 at

Stange, L. 2000. "A Checklist and Bibliography of the Megaloptera and Neuroptera of Florida" (On-line). Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Accessed May 15, 2020 at

Stange, L. 1970. A generic revision and catalog of the Western Hemisphere Glenurini with the description of a new genus and species from Brazil (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). Contributions in Science, 186: 1-28. Accessed May 14, 2020 at

Stange, L. 2000. Observations on the biology of the antlion genus Glenurus Hagen (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). Insecta Mundi, 14(4): 228. Accessed May 14, 2020 at

Stange, L., R. Miller. 2015. "common name: an antlion/scientific name: Glenurus gratus (Say) (Insecta: Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae)" (On-line). Featured Creatures. Accessed May 14, 2020 at