The owl-fly Libelloides [=Ascalaphus] macaronius homepage

The neuropteran owlfly Libelloides (=Ascalaphus) macaronius (Insecta: Plannipenia) was described in 1763 by the correspondant of Carolus Linnaeus, Johannes Antonius Scopoli, while he was a physician in Slovenian mining town Idria.
Ascalaphus is a daytime predator inhabitating warm, dry, uncultivated meadows from Slovenia to Caucasus, and is famous due to the unique spectral sensitivity of its dorsofrontal eye that ranges only over the ultra-violet part of the solar spectrum. Ascalaphus lives as an adult imago only for approximately two months in the summer; even then, it is actively hunting only under unobscured skies.

Photo by Janez Presern [big]

Announcement: The 5th Ascalaphus Summer School 2005

Ljubljana (SLO) and Mainz (D), July 1st-29th, 2005.

The first part of the school takes place in Slovenia, in the labs of the Animal Physiology Chair at the University of Ljubljana. The fieldwork is being performed in the classic Karst, around the village Komen.

The second part of the school takes place in Germany, in the labs of AG Wolfrum at the University of Mainz.

Topics cover a broad range of systems levels, from molecules to environment:

Some of the techniques used:


Published works

Report Summer School 2001

Absorption spectra of UV rhodopsin and metarhodopsin

Scheme of the DF eye [after Hamdorf]

Low-power SEM of the owl-fly's head
Bevelled micropipete for ERG measurements

Scheme of the DF eye [after Ast]

Experimental preparation of the owl-fly

Picture of a larva of Libelloides macaronius

A pair of owlflies during copulation

External links

Literature [access password available upon request]

Presentation about Slovenia

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