Antlion Craters

September 27, 2003


Provided by: Shannon L. Story, StoryLine Ink

No, not the surface of the Moon, but my back yard. These sandy pits are made by antlions, a family of insects called Myrmeleontidae: Greek words meaning “myrmex: (ant) and “leon” (lion). They're called antlions because the larvae are ravenous predators and lie in wait to eat ants and other small insects. In America, they're referred to as “doodlebugs” since they make doodling trails along the sand as they find just the right location to dig their pits. Immature doodlebugs have short legs, and a broad, flattened body. Adults look a lot like dragonflies.

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