Antlions belong to the order Neuroptera, which includes insects with patterned and many-veined wings. The adult antlion resembles dragonflies and damselflies but has longer, prominent and clubbed antennae and a different wing pattern.
The fragile adult is rarely seen because it is a weak flier and is active only during evenings. The female lays her eggs in the soil where the young ones undergo a complete metamorphosis.
The wingless, immature antlion larva is a predator of ants. It digs circular pits in loose sand, leaving spiral-shaped trails behind. Hence, the antlion is also called the ‘doodlebug’.
Antlions come in all sizes — the largest ones are found in Africa with wingspans of up to 16 cm. And the smallest are found in the Middle East with wingspans of just 2 cm.