Giant Antlion

Vella fallax

a giant antlion adult at electric light, Vella fallax, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed near Rio Rico, Sta. Cruz Co., Arizona, USA. 5 August 2010.

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These large flying insects are conspicuous when they show up at night below electric porch lights or black lights for collecting. On the wing for just a short time in late summer. The immature stage is a subterranean, wingless larva that tunnels backwards through loose sand in pursuit of prey, including smaller antlions. Their subterranean activities can sometimes be identified by wandering tracks. Sand that is piled deep along the upper banks of canyons and washes is a likely habitat for these predators.

Myrmeleontidae -- Antlion Family

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Arizona Naturalist
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Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 26 January 2014<
updated 11 July 2019.