Videos: antlion pit-digging time lapse

antlion icon

I found my pet antlion during a field trip with the entomology class to Colockum Research Station near Wenatchee in Eastern Washington. I've always been amazed by antlion traps and wondered how exactly the animals made them, and how long their construction took. Looking online, I couldn't find any really good videos of this process. Since I was eager to try out time-lapse videography anyways, I set my antlion in a small dish and let a DV camera snap an image every second for about 48 hours until I finally had the first movie. Building the pit only took about an hour, but I had a hard time to get the antlion to make one while the camera was trained on it (shyness?).

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My antlion after I took it out of its sand
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My antlion likes Drosophila too.

About a month later, the antlion had grown substantially (click on the image thumbnail above for a detailed picture), and made much larger pits. I decided to do another time-lapse, this time with the animal in white sand. The result is movie #2 below.

All movies were made in Apple's iMovie HD 6, which has a very convenient setting for creating time lapse recordings.

First time lapse video

Second time lapse video

Time lapse setup

Photos / Video


Dear Armin

I'm writing to you from Earth Touch, a South African-based wildlife documentary company with regards to possibly purchasing the following image from your library for an educational internet series on insects/arachnids.

This is the image/footage: antlion images and footage

As I mentioned, the picture/footage will be used for the internet and is not for broadcast purposes. However, we would need the highest resolution of pictures possible as we will be incorporating a lot of graphics and therefore need high quality imaging.

Please could you let me know if this would be possible and what the costs would be.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind wishes

Lindsay Patterson
T +27 (0) 31 582 0850 direct |F +27 (0) 865892995 | C +2784 308 6124 |
Earth Touch (Pty) Ltd, 16 Cranbrook Park, Douglas Saunders Drive, La Lucia Ridge, Durban, 4051, South Africa

Hi Armin. Your ant lion pit-making videos do not appear on the page. I'd like to show them in the entomology class, as I do every year. Any chance you could send me a link to the working video(s)? Thanks!

Hi Evan! Good to hear from you. Weird that the videos don't show up. I'll send you the links as soon as I find them and will try to fix this page. Best, Armin!

Youtube has changed their embed code, that's why they didnt' show up. Fixed it now.