June 30th – Macro Monday: Ant Lion

Ant Lion (again)

I always considered the Antlion (or Ant Lion, Ant-Lion) as a modern sci-fi beast. It’s home is an inescapable trap, fine dust coats the edge of an inverted cone into the earth, waiting for 6 stray legs to slip down to its peril.

I’ve known a little of Antlions for some time, made relevant recently by my daughters recent studies into “Mini beasts”. Imagine my delight when I found a colony of ant lion homes along the fence-line.

After blowing the fine dust away, I went and grabbed the macro. As you can see focus is the trick – this ant lion would measure maybe half the size of your little finger nail. It was tough getting the shot right, especially without a tripod for stability. I ended shooting this photo in “P” mode, if I manually selected a higher aperture it may have brought more of the beast into focus.

I’ve also learned a lot about ant lions today. They are in fact the larval form of a small winged insect (resembling a dragonfly), they have mandibles, their mandibles can be used to inject venom into their prey, and they don’t poo.

Oh, and pro tip for uncovering Ant Lions in the habitat: close your eyes when blowing the dust away.

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