November 18, 2010 4:27 pm
My backyard is all sand with a single tree in the center. Underneath the tree there are tons of little divots and I can never catch a glimpse of the bug. If I’m quiet for awhile, I’ll eventually see a little leg start kicking more sand out but the bug never emerges. Any ideas of what sort of bugs do this?
Thanks a bunch!
We are guessing you have not lived at this location for a very long time. It appears that you have a thriving community of immature Antlions, commonly called Doodlebugs. Doodlebugs are predators that dig pits in sandy soil and then lie buried at the bottom, sometimes with only their jaws exposed. When an ant or other hapless insects walks close to the edge of the pit, the sandy soil crumbles away and the insect falls into the bottom of the pit and right into the waiting jaws of the Doodlebug. Young children who grow up in areas 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. Read this posting from our archives for a tip on how to catch an elusive Doodlebug.