This is an antlion. They live in funnel-shaped depressions in loose soil, and when an unsuspecting ant falls in the pit (think Return of the Jedi or Enemy Mine), the antlion feels the vibration from the cascading soil and flings dirt at the bugger until its prey slides to the funnel point where the antlion captures it in its mandibles and drags it under. How’s that for a nightmare? The antlion is the larval form of a dragonfly-type beast, but admittedly, I don’t know the whole process. You, however, are now empowered with the term “antlion” and may google it if your fancy needs such tickling. Click for an up-closeThis is my naturalist assistant and “Little Brother,” Watson. He took our antlion expedition very seriously and even secured several specimens in our empty snowcone cups to be transplanted in his backyard for further observation.This last picture shows the little antlion pits.
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