Saturday, August 09, 2008

Antlion (Glenurus gratus)

Antlion (Glenurus gratus)

Most folks who are familiar with the name antlion think of the little critters that build funnel-shaped pit traps for catching ants and other small insects. Those are the larvae of a species of antlion closely related to the one above. The adults of those antlions look similar, but are smaller and less colorful.

According to the University of Florida, the larvae of G. gratus live in dry hollows of trees among fine wood particles, squirrel frass and other fecal matter, and other assorted debris. These hollows are large enough to allow for free movement of the larvae under the surface of the debris and are structured so that rainfall does not fully soak the contents of the hollow. The larvae may dig or run after prey, but not rapidly. At times, larvae may simply lie in wait. They feed on assorted insects found in their microhabitat such as termites, beetle larvae, and ants.

Typical resting pose.

Close up of head.

Antlion Links:
Glenurus gratus species page on BugGuide
Wayne's World