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  • Antlion - (Glenarus gratus)

    Antlion - (Glenarus gratus)

    This large and distinctively patterned Antlion is commonly spotted in Florida where it is found inside tree holes as well as gopher tortoise burrows.


    Staff Writer (8/23/2017): Antlions get their name from the lion-sized appetites of their larvae. Known as Doodlebugs, the small, young larvae create trenches as they walk in random directions, often resembling doodles drawn by small children. The Doodlebugs of this species have large pincers with two small teeth on each one. The modified mouthparts at the head form sucking tubes that the larva uses to drain internal organs from its favorite meal: ants. Doodlebugs dig out shallow pits in the sand or soft soil and sit inside them. When ants walk too close to the edges of the pit, the loose sand/soil falls down from under them and they slip into the waiting jaws of the Doodlebug.

    The winged adults may be mistaken at first for a damselfly. A quick check for the small clubs at the tips of the antennae can confirm the insect is an antlion. The black and white pattern at the tips of all four wings are bold and unmistakable. They are attracted to lights at night, but are usually seen in or around the tree holes they live in. They have also been found inside the ground nests of the threatened gopher tortoise.

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    Details of the:
    Antlion


    Category: Antlion or Lacewing
    Common name: Antlion
    Scientific Name: Glenarus gratus

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Neuroptera
          Family: Myrmeleontidae
           Genus: Glenarus
            Species: gratus





    Size (Adult, Length): 35mm to 52mm (1.38in to 2.05in)

    Identifying Colors: black, white

    Additional Descriptors: long, wings, markings, tips, spots, dots, flying


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska;New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.





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