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 rest of the year they are a wingless larvae that tunnel 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 common habitat for these predators.

Myrmeleontidae -- Antlion Family

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 26 January 2014