Ibrahim Khalaf's picture


I found this good looking antlion in the desert of Umm Al Quwain emirate in the UAE.
It was my first time ever to the wild and I was so lucky to see Reptiles, Insects and Spiders.

I'll write down below some information about it, hope you find it useful and informative.


Marking on the adults wings are really easy to recognise. The forewings have black streaks on the outer parts of the wings. The membranous wing has a few black spots. Large compound eyes, antennae longer than the head. Grey abdomen with a darker grey upper part.

Range and Habitats:

Widespread throughout the UAE. Normally nocturnal creatures, adult antlions rest on dry twigs during the day. At night they hang on the twigs, with raised wings.


Mating is a rather acrobatic affair. As the female clings to a twig, the male attaches his tail to hers. He then hangs below her, suspended only by his genital apparatus. Copulation lasts nearly two hours. After separation the female cleans up by feeding on the remaining spermataphore.

Egg laying, or ovipositor, occurs in sand. When a female finds a suitably warm place, she repeatedly taps the sand surface with the tip of the abdomen. She then inserts the abdomen into the sand and lays an egg. This procedure is repeated several times if she remains on a particular patch of sand. During egg lying the wings are raised and move very fast with short wing strokes. After a successful ovipositor, fit females return to the tree, where mating possibly occurs again.

Commonly found during July-August.

Tracks and Signs:

Larva builds cone-shaped ant traps in sheltered sandy areas and waits under the bottom of the trap for an ant to fall in. The loose sandy sides prevent prey from escaping, and the antlion also flicks sand at the struggling ant. The ant lion seizes the ant in its powerful jaws and sucks it dry.

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