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Antlion (Glenurus spp)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Antlion.


 Updated: 4/11/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Antlion  
Picture of Antlion
Picture of Antlion Picture of AntlionPicture of AntlionPicture of Antlion


Elegant adult Antlions may be delightful to watch, but their quirky little larvae offer far more interesting behaviors to observe.





Antlions get their name thanks to the diet of their larvae. A small Antlion larva is also known an a 'doodlebug'. Doodlebugs are ground dwellers and have a huge set of intimidating jaws. These small larvae look like beetles, but they can only walk backwards. In their wake, they leave a curvy lines of loose soil or sand that resembles random doodles. These trails can lead a bug finder all the way back to their pits of doom.

Doodlebugs dig cone-shaped holes into the soft soil or sand and lay in the bottom. When an ant at the surface gets too near the edge, it slips into the hole and slides down to the waiting jaws of the Antlion larva. The Antlion larva will grab the ant and use part of its mouth parts to inject an enzyme that allows the internal body parts to be easily sucked out of the ant. The Antion larva's large appetite for ants, and the ferocity in which it dispatches them, led to the insect's name.

Once a larva matures, an adult Antlion more closely resembles a damselfly or dragonfly than its larval Doodlebug form. Adult Antlions, in contrast to dragonflies, have short antennae, are weak fliers, and are nocturnal. They may eat nectar and pollen. Adults can be found at night in tall grasses out in open habitats. Their larvae can be found in open fields of sandy soil, at the base of trees, on the dusty floors of barns or sheds, or under rock ledges. Both life stages are most active in spring and summer.
Basic Information
Common Name: Antlion
Other Name(s): Doodlebugs
Scientific Name: Glenurus spp
Category: Antlion or Lacewing


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 20mm to 40mm (0.78in to 1.56in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: black, white, gray, brown
Additional Descriptors: pointy, speckled, tail, long, shiny, flying, dragonfly-like




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Myrmeleontidae
Genus: Glenurus
Species: spp




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Antlion may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Images Gallery for the Antlion
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