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Myrmeleon crudelis spends most of its life in the larval stage, where it behaves as a sit-and-wait predator to capture prey. Larvae build conical pit traps in fine, sandy soils by throwing sand with their mouthparts. The larvae wait at the bottom of these pits and use their large mandibles to capture small arthropods (mostly ants) that fall into the pits (2). They are capable of regulating the speed of each mandible independently when they strike based on the position of the prey in order to maximize capture rate (3). The larvae relocate their pits during the night (1). 


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© Gabriel O'Connor

Supplier: JohelChaves

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