What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Can’t find it anywhere . . .
Hi,
I checked your archives and couldn’t find this bug. I don’t think it’s an adult. Perhaps it’s a larva of something easily recognizable when it’s full grow? The bug lives in my shed, in a light layer of dirt atop the concrete floor. I first noticed it building a cone/trap. It would burrow in a circle, just under the surface and flip out the dirt with it’s head. It would continue to go round and round until it had excavated its trap and then bury itself at the bottom of the cone, sometimes with its head exposed, other times not. The pictures were taken last June 2008 in Elkton, OR (SW Oregon, Douglas Cty). This first picture shows its trap – a shallow cone-shaped depression in the dirt. You can notice a pale, round object at the bottom of the cone. That’s the critter’s head. Closer inspection of the head: Next time I looked, there were 3 cone-shaped depressions (there’s now 8), and in the bottom of one cone, I noticed this drama (don ‘t know what the prey is, either): Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me, and with a blade of grass, I dug out one of the cone builders: I put him back in his cone when I was done with him. Any idea what it and its prey are? Thanks,
John
PS – Great site and great service you provide. I take pictures of bugs every day, and you can be sure I’ll be back.

Hi John,
What a great photo of a Doodlebug, the larva of an Antlion. We would need additional time to identify the prey, but the upsidedown angle might make it difficult.

Update:  September 1, 2014
Interestingly, we always refer to adult Antlions as just Antlions, and we refer to the larvae as Doodlebugs.  The name Antlion is derived from the sophisticated hunting methods of the larvae, which dig a pit, waiting in the bottom with only the grasping, toothed mandibles showing.  The angle of the slope of the pit which is dug in sandy soil is so steep that any ants or other insects that get close will slide into the waiting jaws of the Antlion.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Elkton, Oregon
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One Response to Doodlebug

  1. [...] where there are Doodlebugs often “fish” for them with a blade of grass.  Here is a link to a nice image of a Doodlebug from our archives.  Adult Antlions look nothing like the subterranean larvae.  [...]

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