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Doodlebugs​ are awesome  RSS feed

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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Doodlebug is the nickname given to the larvae of the Antlion Lacewing (wiki link). So named for the doodle drawing designs they create in the sandy soil. They build sand traps to catch their prey (photo below). The insect, once in the trap, cannot escape due to the steep walls of loose soil.

There are several of these traps along the edge of one of my barns. Today I noticed that a nearby hatch of harlequin bugs were getting caught in the traps and being killed by the doodlebugs. Last year I had planted lots of turnips near the barn and they attracted loads of harlequin bugs. Now that this years harlequin bugs are hatching they will find no turnips (crimson clover now there) and they'll find an increased number of doodlebug traps.

I took a picture of the harlequin bug and a standard size toothpick for size comparison.
IMG_20170519_145412802.jpg
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Doodlebug traps
IMG_20170519_143211201.jpg
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Harlequin bug on toothpick (4x magnifying )
 
Libbie Hawker
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Cool! I remember playing with ant lions on the recess field as a kid. We used to try to trick them into coming out of the bottom of the trap by tickling the sides with grass.
 
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