Antlion Larva and the Pit of Death

There are little Antlion pits all around the cabin. The soil is very sandy here and perfect for building pits. There are lots of ants too, so it’s a good ecosystem for predator and prey.

I took a short video (from my phone, hence the jitter) of me simulating an ant falling into the pit with the end of a pine needle. The Antlion larva then starts throwing up sand to knock the prey further down the pit towards its jaws. It’s such a wild thing to watch.

There’s a lot to see all around, if you slow down and take the time to look.

Check out Wikipedia for more info:


July 20, 2013 · 9:54 pm

3 responses to “Antlion Larva and the Pit of Death

  1. clementinegoesusa

    Wow!! I’ve actually seen this before in a beautiful documentary called “Empire of the Desert Ants” (entirely on YouTube!). I think it’s about the honey ant in Arizona, and indeed, they fall to their death in the pit. So amazing how such drama and tragedy happens on such a tiny scale. Imagine the fear that ant must feel, as she desperately tries to get a grip on the ground, but feels her feet fail and knows nothing positive can be awaiting her down there…
    Watching documentaries I have actually come to the conclusion that I too often think we humans are the only ones who feel fear, or worry, or despair. Honestly, now I think even that ant is mortally afraid in that instant. And that she truly, genuinely experiences this fear as she slips and crumbles down that horrific little pit.
    It’s a little gruesome, but once I realized it, I didn’t look at nature the same way.

    • Clem,

      I’ve been thinking a lot about you recently, as your blog posts go up, and I read about your current situation. I have been a spectator, but wanted to reach out a little. You are very brave to open yourself up in this way, to post your experiences. I’m not sure I could do what you are doing, nor keep it all together while my world changed dramatically. My divorce shattered my world in a similar way. A few days went by, and suddenly I had lost everything that I thought was important. But I didn’t lose it all. That was just my negative self talking shit. I knew I was a good person deep down, and that life’s circumstances coaxed me along a path that I should have stepped off of long before. I had fallen asleep at the wheel. Keep struggling my friend. Keep writing and keep feeling, as hard as it may be. Namaste.

      • clementinegoesusa

        I never doubted that you were keeping an eye out for me πŸ™‚ Thank you for your wise words of experience, that helps. If you can do it, I can too. And yes, everything is upside down and it feels like my entire comprehension of the world, life, my visions of the future are yanked from my hands.
        But I’ll forge myself a new future. It will be ok.

        Again, thanks πŸ™‚

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