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(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Antlion

Order: Neuroptera

Family: Myrmeleontidae

Pest Status: Antlions are beneficial predators of small insects.

Appearance: An antlion adult resembles a damselfly, is 1 1/2-inches long, and has a long, slender abdomen, two pairs of narrow, multi-veined wings, and clubbed antennae.

Life Cycle: Immature antlions (doodlebugs), feed on other tiny insects that they capture. One of the most distinctive species creates tiny sand pits that appear as mini volcanoes in the soil. The holes start wide and gradually narrow until they funnel into the tip, under which the antlion hides. This pit is an effective trap; small insects fall into it and slide to the bottom where the gaping jaws of the antlion are waiting.

Where to Collect: Antlions are especially prevalent in soft, sandy soils under trees or rocks. Adults can be captured as they fly to lights.