Ant lions are the larvae of a type of fly.
Varying forms can be found in countries all around the world.
The most common North American genus is about the size of a fingernail in its larval stage.
Often called “doodlebugs,” ant lions form pits in sand or dirt, leaving trails of squiggly “doodles” as they dig.
When an ant lion has completed its pit, it lies quietly in wait for ants and other insects to fall in, and then it eats them.
Some ant lions live under logs and rocks, where they are concealed to unsuspecting insects.
Others actually flip sand or dirt out of their pits, causing ants and other insects to wobble and be knocked off balance.
At this point, the ant lion can lunge forward and snatch the stunned insect into its lair. Eventually the larva passes through its antisocial teen stage and turns into a fly.
Similar to a dragonfly, it’s about an inch and a half long.