Here is a picture I took yesterday beside the steps to my deck:
No this picture is not the surface of the moon. These craters are made by the larva of an insect. The larvae are known as Ant Lions and they dig funnel shaped holes to trap ants. The ants can’t get out of the hole and just slide back in when they try. The Ant Lion buries itself in the bottom of the hole with its large jaws just beneath or outside the bottom of the hole to grab on to any hapless ant that ventures into the trap. Sounds like a science fiction movie and would be if they were a lot bigger and we were the hapless victims.
Here is an areal view of the same area:
I walked over to where the motor-home was parked and found some more in different colored sand:
That one had a dead piece of grass hanging down in it. The grass would give the ant an escape route. I bet that ant lion has no idea why he isn’t getting any ants. But the more I look at it, there seems to me, that this ant lion has extended the bottom of the cone into a basement where it would have the chance to clamp on to an ant.
This last picture is another trap next to the one above. This is the first place I lived where there were ant lions. In fact, at first I didn’t know what made the cone shaped holes, but the real estate lady who sold us the property explained what they were. Anything that feeds on ants is OK in my book.
If you want some information on these critters, you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antlion
Also, for a lot of pictures of ant lions and their traps, take a look HERE.
You all have a good day now and hope you enjoyed the holiday.