2 September 2013

Monday macrobug: Antlion pits

Posted by Callan Bentley

In areas of soil protected from the rain, we find antlion pits in our yard…


These are traps, dug and maintained and occupied by the larvae of the family Myrmeleontidae. When a passing insect stumbles in, the antlion will throw sand grains and cause the hapless bug to tumble down, where the antlion snags it with a monstrous pair of jaws, and eats it.


The adults look like your standard insect; the larvae look like something out of HP Lovecraft. I tried digging some up to photograph, but either I didn’t go deep enough, or they were too quick for me. So for now, these traces of the animal will have to do…