oa African Entomology - The distribution and protection status of selected antlion species (Nel.lroptera: Myrmeleontidae) in South Africa



Published distribution data, in the form of specimen collection records, for 23 species of Myrmeleontidae form the basis of this preliminary investigation into the protection of South African antlions. Two iterative priority area selection algorithms are used to: (1) determine near-minimum sets of sites for complete antlion species representation and (2) to assess the adequacy of the current reserve system for the conservation of selected antHon taxa. This is carried out by pre-selecting sites containing both antlion data and existing conservation areas and using these as starting points around which to select further sites in a complementary manner until species representation is complete. Priority areas for antlion conservation are concentrated in the southwestern regions of South Africa while areas of highest species richness are situated in the central Karoo and northwestern regions. Pre-selection of grid squares containing conservation areas results in decreased numbers of additional grid squares required for completing antHon representativeness, indicating that the existing reserves make some contribution to antlion conservation. The Fynbos, Nama-Karoo and Succulent Karoo biomes are shown to be important areas for antHon representation. These biomes have also been recognized as under-represented in the current conservation area system and as being of conservation importance for other taxa by various authors.


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