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Mystery Bug Area - Zone 6

The mystery bug in this tub is called an Antlion, or more commonly known as the Doodlebug. This nickname was given due to the random marks they create by walking on the sand, “doodles.” There are 2,000 different variations of this species which are located all around the world. You can typically find these little bugs in dry climates, residing under trees, plants and buildings. If you look closely, there are little sand pit traps located all over this live display. The larvae create these coned structures to trap insects such as ants. The ants will approach their trap and unexpectedly find themselves falling into a pit. This structure is designed to make it hard for ants to escape. Once the sand is disrupted by the ant, the antlion larvae is then alerted that there is something in the trap. Since the doodlebugs are hiding under the trap, it will immediately kick up the sand and make the ant slip and fall into the middle. Once the ant has fallen into the middle of the pit, the doodlebug will grab its prey and eat it. A full-grown Antlion looks similar to and has been mistaken many times as a damselfly or dragonfly. These little creatures have an extremely short life span of up to twenty-five days; though there have been reports of up to forty five days. You most likely won’t see them out and about during the daytime, because these bugs are nocturnal.

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