How did the Ant Lion get its name and Where does the term Ant Lion come from?

Hundreds upon hundreds of ant lions have their diminutive pitfalls amid orange groves of Florida or wherever ants are numerous and the soil is composed of dry and very fine sand.

Properly the name should be confined to the larvae, known also as doodlebugs, rather than to the adult insect, which resembles a dragonfly.

The louse-like larva buries itself in the sand and, by throwing descending sand away from the edge by violent motions of its head, digs a funnel-shaped pit with smooth sides that may be an inch to two inches in depth, so smooth and steep than an incautious ant may slip to the bottom, where it is immediately seized by the formidable projecting mandibles of the “lion” awaiting it.

Rainfall must be most discouraging; all trace of the laborious construction is wiped out by the first few drops, and the infant must wait until the sand is again bone dry before it may begin to set the table for the next meal. (See also doodlebug.)

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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