ant lion

noun

Definition of ant lion

: any of various neuropterous insects (as of the genus Myrmeleon) having long-jawed larvae that feed on insects (such as ants) and including some that dig conical pits to capture prey

How Would You Describe a Ant Lion?

An insect known for its aggressive capture of prey during its larval stage is the ant lion. The larva digs a funnel-shaped sandy pit by using its oval, bristled abdomen, then buries itself in the pit with only its powerful jaws uncovered. Any small insect that ventures over the pit’s edge slips to the bottom and is seized by the ant lion, which sucks the contents of its victim and throws out the empty skin. The adult ant lion does not feed. The best known of the 65 described species occurs in North America and Europe.

Illustration of ant lion

First Known Use of ant lion

1742


ANT LION Defined for Kids

ant lion

noun

Definition of ant lion for Students

: an insect having a larva form with long jaws that digs a cone-shaped hole in which it waits for prey (as ants)

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ant lion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

allowing a liquid or gas to pass through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!