The term “antlion” applies to the immature (larval) stages of this incredible insect. While the adults (pictured here) feed on nectar and pollen, the larvae are amazing predators. Unlike other predators that actively hunt, antlion larvae are sit and wait predators …but many of them have a unique way of doing so. The larvae dig a conical pit in sandy areas and wait at the bottom for an ant or other insect to slip on the loose sand and slide into the waiting (and impressive) jaws of the antlion.You can find antlion pits in dry, sandy places that are sheltered from wind, direct sunlight, and rain. We’ve often found them at the base of ponderosa pines.
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 8/26/20 in Missoula, MT.