Brachynemurus abdominalis

| 12 Comments

Photograph by Gregory Zolnerowich.

Photography contest: “Animal” category.

Zolnerowich.Antlion.jpg

Brachynemurus abdominalis – adult ant lion, whose larvae dig pits in sandy soil and prey on ants or small arthropods that tumble down the pit.

12 Comments

That’s a cool shot.

Ever see its relative, the Owlfly?

My apologies - I used the family (?) as a placeholder and forgot to insert the genus and species. I will do so tonight when I get home. I do not have the information here on campus.

Ah, one of my favorites as a kid. Spent many pleasant afternoons digging the larvae up on the river bank near my family’s ranch, then sending small insects to their horrible doom in the funnels…

Gorgeous picture.

Such a graceful and lovely creature. And so different from its larval stage.

Something funny: I once walked into a dirt floored barn to fire up a tractor for some sort of work. The area around the tractor, up to 10 or 12 feet, was literally cratered with ant lion traps. Of course, it is the tumbling of sand grains that alerts the hidden predator, horrible in his keep and in his jaws. So, when the tractor finally turned over and started, the whole floor began erupting with tiny geysers of sand! It was like ringing the dinner bell. The vibrations of the engine transmitted through the tires was sufficient to cause hundreds of little avalanches.

I laughed heartily as I gently backed out, avoiding running over such as I could. The performance was repeated later in the day when I pulled the tractor back in.

If ant lions could talk, how would they describe such moments?

If ant lions could talk, how would they describe such moments?

The Earth moved!

wright said:

Ah, one of my favorites as a kid. Spent many pleasant afternoons digging the larvae up on the river bank near my family’s ranch, then sending small insects to their horrible doom in the funnels…

Gorgeous picture.

Did you know that the larvae of owlflies lack mouths and anuses, but are still capable of feeding?

Did you know that the larvae of owlflies lack mouths and anuses, but are still capable of feeding?

What’s it do, secrete digestive juices and then drink its lunch?

Henry

Henry J said:

Did you know that the larvae of owlflies lack mouths and anuses, but are still capable of feeding?

What’s it do, secrete digestive juices and then drink its lunch?

Henry

Sort of, yes: while it lacks an opening for a mouth, there are single holes in its hollow, caliper-like jaws, so that, whenever it pinches captured prey, it injects digestive juices into it, then sucks it dry like a juicebox with two straws.

As for pooping, the larva only poops once in its childhood, in that, the feces is stored at the end of the digestive tract as a superconcentrated pellet, and is only released after the molt of the second to final instar before pupating.

Makes me glad to be a mammal!

Stanton said:

As for pooping, the larva only poops once in its childhood, in that, the feces is stored at the end of the digestive tract as a superconcentrated pellet, and is only released after the molt of the second to final instar before pupating.

Actually, do you know what a lot of parents would do for a child whom they’d only need to make one diaper change in one lifetime?

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

Makes me glad to be a mammal!

But think about the size of that one change - eek!

Wow! And I thought I felt constipated…

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on August 27, 2009 12:00 PM.

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