Temporal range: Mesozoic - Recent
Antlion are a family of insects in the order Neuroptera with the scientific name Myrmeleontidae. The most well-known genus is Myrmeleo. There are about 2,000 species.
Description[change | change source]
Most people know this insect because of the funnel-shaped pit, up to 2 inches in diameter and depth, produced by the larval stages of this insect to trap ants. Larvae have globular abdomens and narrower, flattened heads bearing sickle-shaped jaws. Adults superficially resemble drab-colored, 1 ½ inch long damselflies with four long, narrow, net-veined wings roof-like held over a long, skinny abdomen when at rest. Unlike damselflies, however, ant-lion antennae are prominent and clubbed at the end.
Antlions burrow in the ground, forming a pit for prey to fall into. The pit is angled so that the sides of the pit crumble when the victim tries to climb out. After being swallowed by the antlion, the victim is kept alive and slowly digested over 1,000 years, where they will fund a new definition of pain and suffering. The prey is restrained by tentacles in the stomach to prevent it from escaping.