Thread subject: :: Larvae of Vermileonidae

Posted by Rui Andrade on 14-12-2007 16:21


I'm trying to raise larvae of Vermileonidae and I just found out that in each trap there are several individuals (four or more per trap).
I believed that there was only one larva per trap, like in myrmeleontids. Can anyone explain me why do they do this?

Posted by crex on 14-12-2007 16:52

What sort of trap is that?

Posted by Rui Andrade on 14-12-2007 17:11

It?s very similar to the antlion's trap:


Posted by Colobo on 15-12-2007 08:36

I have reared many larvae of Vermileo (and also one of Lampromyia) to adult, but there was always only one larva in a pit ... Your observation is very surprising. Are you sure that your larvae are Vermileonidae ?

Posted by Rui Andrade on 15-12-2007 23:56

I think so. What else can it be?

Right now I don't have photos but the larvae are very similar to Vermileonidae. Whenever I feed them, several "heads" appear.

Posted by Colobo on 18-12-2007 12:19

No idea of anything else possible... but the larvae of Vermileonidae catch their prey by "encircling" it with their body. How is it possible if several larvae are in the same pit ?
Just a question however : is there room enough in your vial for each larva can build its own pit ?
AnYway a really very surprising matter, worth keeping an eye on.

Posted by Rui Andrade on 19-12-2007 00:50

Yes, the larvae encircle the prey. The last time I fed them it looked like only one larva appeared. But I'm pretty certain that a few days ago I saw several larvae.
Yes, I think there is enough room for each larva to build its own pit, because where I collected them there were several pits very near each other.
I will continue to observe and then I'll post something in case anything new happens.

Posted by crex on 19-12-2007 08:41

Sounds interesting. Looking forward seeing a series of photos showing the development ;) What do you feed them?

Posted by Rui Andrade on 19-12-2007 19:05

Today I saw again many larvae in each trap. In one of them, there is a big larva and others that are smaller. I filmed (not very well) one of the smaller larvae that is in a trap where a big one lives, but I couldn?t manage to film both together :(. I will continue to try.

What do you feed them?

I feed them with aphids because ants move a lot:).

Posted by xylo on 21-12-2007 11:00

Hi all,

breeding out wormlions seems a criptical hobby of dipterists. Me too. B)

Currently nursing some vermileonids from Italy and Morocco brought along by colleagues. I have never observed more than one larvae in a pit, but sometimes they are socialized with antlions at the same site. Very interesting your observation.

Usually I feed them with ants. If you put the forage before in a fridge, they are immobilized and have no chance to escape. Hopefully the wormlion larvae get no bellyache due to the cold prey. Sometimes they also get some aphids as a candy.

There is an overview article in the journal "Biologie in unserer Zeit" by Ludwig & Melzer dealing with worm-, antlions and tigerbeetles with nice photographs free available at: http://www3.inter...7/PDFSTART [German only]

Happy Holidays,
so long,

Posted by jorgemotalmeida on 24-12-2007 20:31

I will see this Wednesday if Andrade is telling us the truth :P lol

Posted by Rui Andrade on 26-12-2007 20:20

Hmmm, ups, I believe that I unintentionally misled you people:(. After all it seems that there was only one larva per trap. I appologize for that and for breeding hope for something more interesting.

Posted by jorgemotalmeida on 26-12-2007 20:32

I was with Andrade today, and I can confirm: I didn't see any Vermileonidae larva! IT is a lie!! lol I'm just kidding. I saw a very small baby larva of Vermileonidae! SO cute! :S :o lol
I have with me some Vermileonidae larvae hidden in the land. :D

Posted by Rui Andrade on 26-12-2007 20:38


If you carried the case carefully in short time you should have the traps made;).

Posted by jorgemotalmeida on 26-12-2007 20:48

I hope I have some Lampromyia sp. It would be great to see this fantastic fly with such long proboscis!