Monday, 23 July 2018

Ant Lions at Minsmere

Ant Lions are very rare members - I think - of the lacewing family. They are more common on the continent and elsewhere around the globe, but in the UK they are found only in a couple of sites in Suffolk and in Holkham Pines, North Norfolk.

The adults are fairly nondescript and, being nocturnal, are hardly ever seen: the best I've ever managed are a few by the visitors' centre at Minsmere that had been trapped in spiders' webs.

The larvae are just as hard to see, because they spend their time just under the surface at the bottom of a cone-shaped pit they construct in sandy soil. Only their vicious pincers project from the base of the pit, waiting to catch and devour any prey that slips down the slope




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