Unidentified Dragonfly/moth?
March 26, 2010
Hi, I found this insect on my facecloth last night. Could you tell me what it is as I have never seen anything like it before. It was definitely real, I say this because it looks so fake.
Cape Point area of Cape Town, South Africa


Hi Cherie,
This is a Neuropteran known as an Owlfly, and it is closely related to Lacewings and Antlions.  Owlflies are unusual insects that really do resemble a cross of several different insect orders.

3 Responses to Owlfly from South Africa

  1. Curious Girl says:

    Okay, so I read somewhere recently that when insects hold their bottom up like that it is the female signaling to the males she is no longer available (and if he still tries, he cannot find a purchase in his efforts).

    Curious little bug facts that help make the world of the tiny all the more fascinating.

  2. Dave Ellinger says:

    Two days ago I observe what I thought was a lacewing on the driveway gate as I locked it. Eight hours later it was still there but my arrival alarmed it and if flew away before I could photograph it for ID. Now I believe it was an Owlfly from numerous aspects. WOW!

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