What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination


The doodlebug is the larval form of the Antlion. The doodlebug digs a pit in the sand and waits for ants and other insects to fall into its waiting jaws. The adults are winged. The scientific name of the Family is Myrmeleontidae. There are over 89 North American species, and a common one is Dendroleon obsoletum.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Share →

10 Responses to DOODLE BUGS

  1. dan says:

    you are mistaken. What you are referring to is called a sand lion.

    • bugman says:

      This is an eleven year old posting, but we still stand by what we wrote. Common names can be misleading because some names are very localized in use and sometimes the same common name is used for numerous species. We could find no reference to Sand Lion online. Please provide us with a citation. Doodlebug, on the other hand, is a universally accepted common name for the larva of an Antlion in the family Myrmeleontidae. Its use is acknowledged on BugGuide, Merriam-Webster and even that bastion of pop culture references, Wikipedia. We are not mistaken.

  2. Grammy Gene says:

    Try looking for “ant lion”.

  3. country Mike says:

    We always called the adult form ant lions too. Dad told us that they were doodle bugs because you could get close to their pits and say “doodle” over and over and the vibrations would cause the creature to rise up out of the center of its pit expecting expecting a meal. I caught one and kept it as a pet in a dry area outside until it finally became an adult and flew away. I thought they were ant lions because they seemed ferocious in dealing with the ants which happened into their pits.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for providing your personal story, which agrees with much of what we have read about Doodle Bugs.

      • kent says:

        When I was little our older cousin would lend over the ledge on a rock cliff which had sand on it and he would say doodle bug, doodle buy , come out, come out, your house is on fire, and sure enough here came the doodle bug, we thought our cousin had magical powers.

  4. Dana says:

    When I was a little girl, we lived in Louisiana. We called roly poly bugs doodle bugs be it when we moved to Oklahoma, the kids called them roly polys. Is it common to have different names for the same insect in different parts of the country?

    • bugman says:

      The reason the scientific community uses a binomial naming system with a genus and a species name is so that a unique name applies to each living organism. Problems frequently occur with common names.

  5. Gary Helm says:

    Are there still any doodle bugs? I used to see them around ant hills but not any more. Are they endangered or extinct?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *