Arizona Naturalists >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Neuroptera >>> Antlion


Paranthaclisis (?)

an adult ant lion, Myrmeliontidae, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed as dusk was approaching and still taking refuge among thorns and tangles of a cholla cactus. Bumblebee, Yavapai Co., Arizona, USA. 10 June 2012

The most familiar of antlions are those that build inverted cones in soft, dry sand and that serve as pits into which crawling ants fall. Once the larva at the bottom of the pit has consumed many ants and reaches maturity it spins a cocoon and later emerges as a flying adult. The adult antlions come to lights at night and mostly rest quietly during daylight hours.

There are quite a number of ant-lion species in the deserts of western North America and separating them can require considerable expertise and study.

Myrmeleontidae -- Ant-Lion Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 June 2012,
updated 15 Aug. 2016.