Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mystery Bug


Does anybody know what this is? It landed on the livingroom wall Monday night. Look at that interesting tail!
Answer: According to Doug Tauron from Gossamer Tapestry, it is an antlion (though I still don't know what it does with that tail!)

10 comments:

Kathryn and Ari said...

It IS interesting. I wish I could say I knew what it was, but I've never seen one of those. The tail kind of reminds me of a dragon- or damsel-fly. Could they be related?

jalynn01 said...

I have no idea. Never saw anything quite like it. The tail is very interesting. If you find out please let us know..

The Texican said...

Looks like a damsel fly of some variety. Smaller and weaker than dragon flies.

Doug Taron said...

Your mystery bug is an adult antlion. They do look kind of like dragonflies, but they're not especially closely related. I have found them very common in Arizona. Yours lis a little guy. I sometimes see them with 6" wingspans or more.

Kathiesbirds said...

Thank you everyone for all your help. Doug, I will publish the correct answer above! It sure had me stumped. And what does it do with that tail? BTW, Gus was the one who suggested I hold a quarter up to give you perspective. He's so smart!

Larry said...

I was going to say just what Doug said-yeah right.-I would like to comment that it is a sharp and detailed photo-epecially when you enlarge it.

Doug Taron said...

Your antlion is a boy. The "tail" is actually a pair of claspers used to hold the female during mating.

Kathiesbirds said...

Larry, thank you. You are always such a wise guy! I love your wit!

Doug, I was wondering if that was related to sex! I don't think I'd want to see one with a 6" wingspan though! Do they EAT ants?

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Doug Taron said...

The larvae eat ants. They are really cool, they form a conical depression in sandy soil. The ant lion larva sites just beneath the surface at the pase of the pit. When an ant blunders in, it tumbles to the base of the pit. The ant lion larva pops up and grabs the ant, pulling it under the sand to its doom. Pretty grisly, huh?