Sunday Night Movie: The Death of an Ant

A short film by Alvaro Mendoza productions:

The piece captures antlion hunting strategy perfectly. The sand pit by itself is only a partial trap; most insects can climb out on their own. But not with the predator churning sand and hurling debris.

Warning: a switcheroo in ant species between the intro and the close-ups will be a little jarring for taxonomists.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: The Death of an Ant”

  1. I once dug up an ant lion larva and put it in a cup. I dropped a plump, tasty Formica into the cup and watched the action for myself. That was all the ant lion needed to complete development. I reared out an adult with nice patterned wings (I forgot the species), and found the peculiar round cocoon, too. Every student of entomology should try this.

    1. I heartily agree. Years ago I collected a bunch of ant lions, and kept them individually in little 2 oz serving cups of sand. They each had their own pit. Fed them fruit flies and small meal worms until they pupated.

      1. I almost forgot about a really creepy event which I think suggests that ant lions have a great sense of prey proximity. I had put in a meal worm into one ant lion pit, but this time the meal worm was able to crawl out. A hump of sand started to follow it from behind. Of course this was the ant lion. When the meal worm turned left, the sand hump turned left. Closer…closer… until the hump caught up with the meal worm. Then the meal worm was captured and slowly pulled under the sand. Straight out of a horror movie.

Leave a Reply