What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Antlion pics
Thank you for creating a wonderful site that serves so many people. Your site answered my question about the huge antlion adults I’ve been seeing. I was pretty sure they were antlions, but the size seemed to rule out antlions because I’d never seen a larva big enough to create such monstrous adults. These pics are of one 3.5 inches long overall – far too but to be from a larva that makes the familiar funnel-shaped pit in sand or sandy soil (the pit would be a foot across). Can you tell me where these larvae live, what they look like and what they eat? I suppose they would take forever to get this big eating the occassional ant. What could they be eating, grasshoppers? Feel free to post the pics if you want, although you already have some nice ones. Maybe this is a different species. By the way, the antlion/lacewing-looking larva from Thailand could still be an antlion, though found on a bush and not in the soil. I’ve seen antlion larvae crawling on trees, bushes, rocks, possibly looking for better soil. They are awkward, but they get around. Lacewing larvae are far more agile, so observing the larva in question might help identify it. Now if you can get that photo to move… Thanks again for a great site,
Martin Adams

Hi Martin,
Thank you for your wonderful letter and your gorgeous Antlion image. Adults, according to the Audubon Guide, drink nectar, eat pollen, or do not eat at all. Eric Eaton provided this information: “Ok, before I forget, the ant lion is Vella fallax, or another species in the genus Vella. Yes, they are huge! Remember, in North America, only the larvae of the genus Myrmeleon make the pits. That means the larva of THIS beast must simply wait in ambush somewhere, perhaps half-buried on the surface of the sand.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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