Characterisation of a West African Myrmeleontinae assemblage (Neuroptera Myrmeleontidae): first evidence of a relationship between adult occurrences and climatic conditions

B. Michel, P. Letourmy


Antlions of the sub-family Myrmeleontinae in the Sikasso region of southern Mali were studied for almost 6 consecutive years. In total, 51 species or morphospecies were recorded. The assemblage is dominated by the tribe Nemoleontini (33 species). Other tribes represented are Nesoleontini (7 species), Myrmeleontini (5 species), Myrmecaelurini (3 species) and Acanthaclisini (3 species). Most of the identified species are new for Mali and, indeed, for sub-Saharan Africa. Six species are very abundant, 17 abundant, 13 fairly abundant and 15 rare. The average sex ratio of the whole assemblage is about 1 male to 1 female. An uninterrupted succession of species, with conspicuous temporal segregation, occurs throughout the year with varying overlap of the flight periods. The number of species recorded by month is highly correlated with temperature, rainfall and relative humidity (r² = 0.99). Species richness peaks in October and February, and is lowest in August. The estimated duration of flight periods ranges from 10-20 days to 365 days. The average flight period is 80 days.

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