It's Antlion Time, Again

One inquiry that always amuses me is to receive a description or image of antlion pits in the soil along the side of the house.  I know antlions are cold-blooded killers that mercilessly suck all the fluids out of captured ants. Still, the seeming ingenuity of creating a conical pit in dry, sandy soil in a sheltered location to capture food that slides into the pit amazes me.  I also appreciate that there always seem to be several pits in close proximity, as shown in the photo submitted by Cerro Gordo County Extension on behalf of Marvin Katuin.  Thanks for sending a fun and entertaining inquiry!

Read more about antlions – also called doodlebugs – in our online article at

antlions are insect larvae that make shallow conical pits in dry sandy soil next to the house
Antlions are insect larvae that make shallow conical pits up to 2 inches across and 2 inches deep in dry, sandy soil in sheltered locations.

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