What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi! When I lived in Alabama as a child there was a bug that lived in the ground that we call a "doodlebug" or a "pinchin bug" because of the big pinchers it had…..it would burrow straw sized holes and back into it…..we as kids would put broom straw in the hole and wait until it started to wiggle then jerk the straw out and hanging from it by it’s pinchers would be the ugliest meanest looking little bug/worm thing less than an inch long. What was it?
Stacey

Hi Stacey,
Your Doodle Bugs are the larvae of Ant Lions, Family Myrmeleontidae, winged insects that resemble Lacewings.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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One Response to Dooble Bugs

  1. TanukiBlue says:

    Sounds like a tiger-beetle larva to me. They make vertical burrows about the size of a drinking straw. They tend to seem very unhappy about being drawn from their cool, dark, snug little home. Touching the hump on the critter’s back brings about an immediate and vigorous lashing of the head back towards the hump.

    I used to fish for these all the time, also in Alabama. :) Was a nice way to while away a bit of a hot summer afternoon. I always returned my catches to their burrows before moving on.

    I have WTB to thank for learning that these little critters are the precursors of the gorgeously iridescent and very, very fast beetles that I also loved to catch as a kid!

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