Have you seen groups of cone-shaped depressions on bare soil? These are likely to be the traps of antlions. The traps are mostly in covered situations such as under trees or bushes - or in the soil covered by my carport!

Antlion at home covered by soil at bottom of pit.

They use the lie-in-wait strategy of many predators but with a twist. Antlions make pits in the dry soil, dig themselves in so they are in "ambush position" at the bottom of the trap and wait until prey falls in. A hapless beetle might fall as it tries to scrabble up the steep sides of the pit, it sends soil down the sides but has little success in climbing out of the dusty depression. The movements alert the antlion which either grabs the prey or flips more soil up to bring the animal back to the bottom of the pit where it is nabbed and sucked dry of body fluid. Discarded bodies such as the millipede carcass in the above picture are placed around the top of the traps. You can get the antlions to throw soil up by gently tickling the trap sides with a twig.

Small beetle about to incur the wrath that is...ANTLION!
No beetles were harmed in the making of this site, the beetle pictured is a highly trained "stunt beetle"

Antlions get their name from their main source of prey (ants) and their fierce appearance. They are squat-looking insects with huge jaws in comparison with the rest of their bodies. They feed on hard-bodied animals such as insects, but particularly feed on ants.

When antlions are ejected from their pits by human fingers, they lie "doggo" where they fall. Their grey camoflage makes this dusty insect hard to see on the soil.