Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ant Lions

This is the larvae stage of an antlion.  It has odd feeding habits.  The eggs are laid in sand, and when it hatches, it digs a pit in the sand.

It lives buried in the sand at the bottom with the tips of its powerful jaws exposed.  If an ant falls in, it is quickly caught, poisoned, and sucked dry.  Have you noticed these little pits in the loose soil???

When you gently scoop the pit up, you can show a child and they are delighted (even adults), as I showed some of the volunteers this little critter today.  It is also neat to see them actually capture an ant.  Put one in and watch the action!!  Small ants work best.  

The adult looks like a damselfly, but they will have short knobbed antennae.

Not every pit will have one because it has grown into an adult.

I noticed these out our back window.  It looks like Shaggy Mane to me, but the only ones I have seen have grown in clumps.  Please comment if you know it is Shaggy Mane.

Isn't nature wonderful?  Until next time.....

1 comment:

  1. We use to call them doddlebugs. They were fun to play with!
    Interesting mushroom - I don't think we brought our mushroom book with us. Hopefully someone will know for sure what the name is.