Ant-lions in Guernsey.

Ant-lion pits at the edge of a lane in Torteval, Guernsey
Photo of ant-lion pits 35kb

Introduction

Ant-lions, Euroleon nostras (Geoffroy in Fourcroy), have been known in the Channel Islands since two adults were found in Jersey in 1932 (Le Quesne 1948). Since the war the larval pits have been noticed in many places in Jersey. However, the insect was not found in Guernsey until 1997, when one was caught in a light trap at Petit Bôt by R. Austin & D. Agassiz (Austin 1998). The next year many larval pits were found in Herm & Guernsey and in 2000 in Sark. The map shows where they have been found so far in the Bailiwick, and where apparently suitable places (South facing areas with dusty soil protected by overhangs), have not got larval pits. We are keeping track of when the ant lion pits appear in these areas. In 2004 they were first found in the north of the island at the Vale Castle and in 2005 a second site in the north was discovered at Paradis.

Ant-lions have recently been found in Suffolk in England, and these have been of great interest to naturalists. A search of the web using Euroleon nostras Suffolk will produce several articles and see Plant (1998)

References

Austin, R. 1998. Entomology Section Report for 1997. Rep. Trans. Soc. guernes. 23. (1997), 194-200
Le Quesne, W. J. 1948. Lacewings, Mayflies & allied orders in Jersey. Bull. a. Soc. jersiaise 14, 427-430
Plant, C.W. 1998. Investigations into the distribution, status and ecology of the Ant-lion Euroleon nostras (Geoffroy in Fourcroy, 1785) (Neuroptera:Myrmeleontidae) in England during 1997. Suffolk Natural History 34.

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C.T. David: email cdavid@guernsey.net

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