Poultney Family Album - Mexico December 2004

I was amazed and delighted to see yet another icon of the African bush - ant lions !!  For those of you not
familiar with these incredible creatures I managed to download some additional information off the internet.

The photograph above is taken looking straight down on the ground where cones of many sizes can be seen in the sandy soil.
Below is a diagram showing the creature lying at the bottom of the cone - which it has dug itself !! - waiting for an ant to come walking along and fall in.
Of course the ant cannot easily get out of the cone - as fast as it scrambles up the side of the cone the sand runs down and prevents
it getting any grip. In addition the ant lion, once alerted to something in the cone starts "digging" to speed up the fall of the ant to the
vortex. The ant lion then grabs the ant with it's pinchers and drags it under the sand where is subsequently sucks the ant dry !!
As kids in Africa we used to take a stalk of grass and "tickle" the inside of the cone to emulate an ant crawling in there and to get
the ant lion digging. Then we'd capture the ant lion for examination in the palm of the hand.


A photograph of an ant lion which is about the size of a small pea. It is actually
the larvae of creature that looks like a winged ant.

Previous Photo        Back to Album        Next Photo