ant lion

noun
Updated on: 8 Apr 2018

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

Recent Examples of ant lion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ant lion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

illustration of ant lion

First Known Use of ant lion

1742

in the meaning defined above

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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)

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