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Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Are antlions a type of ant?
  2. Why are antlions called antlions?
  3. What is a doodlebug?
  4. Why are some antlions called doodlebugs?
  5. Where can I find antlions?
  6. Can I keep an antlion as a pet?
  7. Can I purchase antlions from The Antlion Pit?
  8. Are there any books or videos about antlions?
  9. I'm doing research on antlions but I can't find many primary or secondary sources. Can you recommend any resources?
  10. How do I cite references to The Antlion Pit in my research paper or article?
  11. Does the film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan have antlions in it?
  12. Can I copy The Antlion Pit's images for use in my own website (or other publication)?





  1. Are antlions a type of ant?
    No. Scientifically speaking, antlions belong to the order of insects called Neuroptera. Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera.


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  2. Why are antlions called antlions?
    Antlion larvae prey on ants and other small insects, just as lions prey on other animals.


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  3. What is a doodlebug?
    "Doodlebug" is the U.S. colloquial name for the larval form of the pit-digging varieties of antlions (genus Myrmeleon). In the southern U.S., the term "doodlebug" sometimes is used (less accurately) for the woodlouse, a terrestrial crustacean. More common colloquial names for woodlice are "sow bug," "pill bug," and "roly-poly bug." These last two names are used to describe only woodlice of the genus Armadillidium, so named because of their ability to roll up into a tight ball, just as an armadillo does when attacked.

    Antlion ("doodlebug") Sow bug Pill bug
    Antlion
    ("doodlebug")
    Woodlouse
    ("sow bug")
    Woodlouse of genus Armadillidium
    ("pill bug" or "roly-poly bug")

    Woodlouse images © 2001 All-Safe Pest. Used with permission.



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  4. Why are some antlions called doodlebugs?
    The name "doodlebug" comes from the pit-digging behavior of the larvae of some antlion species.


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  5. Where can I find antlions?
    The Antlion Pit contains many resources for finding antlions (listed below).


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  6. Can I keep an antlion as a pet?
    Yes. The Antlion Pit contains many resources for finding, capturing, and caring for antlions (listed below).

    Remember to consider the negative consequences of disturbing animals or removing them from their natural habitat. If you capture antlions in the wild, The Antlion Pit recommends limiting the time you handle them and releasing the insects in the same place where you found them.

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  7. Can I purchase antlions from The Antlion Pit?
    No. The Antlion Pit does not sell antlions; however, the site does contain many resources for finding and capturing antlions yourself.

    Remember to consider the negative consequences of disturbing animals or removing them from their natural habitat. If you capture antlions in the wild, The Antlion Pit recommends limiting the time you handle them and releasing the insects in the same place where you found them.

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  8. Are there any books or videos about antlions?
    You can watch our video clips or browse our lists of antlion-related books, videos and other items in the Educational Resources section. The Antlion Pit Store offers several antlion-related items.

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  9. I'm doing research on antlions but I can't find many primary or secondary sources. Can you recommend any resources?
    The best resource for primary or secondary sources is a university library that has entomology journals and references books. If you don't have access to a university library, check out the on-line resources listed in The Antlion Pit's Educational Resources section.


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  10. How do I cite references to The Antlion Pit in my research paper or article?
    There are many acceptable formats for citing online references in endnotes or bibliographies. Here are two styles you can adapt for your own purposes (consult your instructor or editor for exact requirements).

      Examples in American Psychological Association (APA) style

      Swanson, M. (1996). The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. Retrieved February 15, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antlionpit.com/

      Swanson, M. (1996). Observing and capturing antlions. The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. Retrieved July 1, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antlionpit.com/observ.html

      Beckhöfer-Fialho, Aura (1996). Medieval Bestiaries and the Birth of Zoology. In The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. Mark Swanson. Retrieved April 21, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antlionpit.com/aura.html

      Examples in MLA style

      The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. Mark Swanson. 1996. 9 Sept. 2000 < http://www.antlionpit.com/ >.

      Swanson, Mark. "The Mermecolion: From Bible to Bestiary to Borges." The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. 1996. 24 Nov. 2000 < http://www.antlionpit.com/borges.html >.

      Beckhöfer-Fialho, Aura. "Medieval Bestiaries and the Birth of Zoology." 1996. In The Antlion Pit: A Doodlebug Anthology. Mark Swanson. 1996. 11 Aug. 2001 < http://www.antlionpit.com/aura.html >.


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  11. Does the film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan have antlions in it?
    No, but the Ceti eels featured in the film do resemble antlion larvae.

    Related topics in The Antlion Pit:


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  12. Can I copy The Antlion Pit's images for use in my own website (or other publication)?
    Only with permission. See The Antlion Pit's terms of use for more information.

    Related topics in The Antlion Pit:


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