An experimental study on the foraging behavior of a pit-building antlion larva,Myrmeleon bore

Research paper by Toshiaki Matsura

Indexed on: 01 Jun '87Published on: 01 Jun '87Published in: Researches on population ecology


In artificial sands constructed in the field the 3rd instar larvae ofM. bore rarely changed the positions of their pits, though several antlions had moved actively until they constructed pits. The average feeding rate was 0.3 prey/day/pit, and about 60% of prey captured were ants.To examine whether or notM. bore larvae concentrate into the area where they can capture more prey, 8 antlions were released into each of 6 boxes filled with sand. I divided the sand surface of each box into two half areas, then gave prey to the pits built in a half area and gave no prey to the pits built in the other half. During the 50-day observation period, nonfed antlions never moved into the area where prey were given.The 3rd instar larvae were reared separately without food. Even under starved conditions they rarely relocated their pits until dealth. The average duration of survival period was 83.9 days.The experimental results indicate thatM. bore larvae adopt a tactic of sedentary ambushing. These larvae exhibit low movement rates which are independent of prey capture rates.