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The Desert and the River

HIC SUNT MYRMELEONES

“Here are antlions.” Generations of young and old in the Czech Republic are familiar with adventures of Ferda the Ant (by Ondrej Sekora – writer, illustrator, and also entomologist). Ferda, who appeared in books, comics, and cartoon series, had to overcome a lot of obstacles and face many a danger on his adventurous journeys. One of them was a memorable encounter with an antlion larva called Tutinek. If you walk through the drift sands, you can meet antlions yourselves and get a glimpse of their interesting lives.

The adult antlion looks like the inconspicuous Brown Mayfly (Ephemera vulgata). It flies at night, so it mostly escapes our attention. The antlion larva, on the other hand, will attract your attention easily; it digs a steep-sloped pit in the sand, which serves as a trap for small insects, especially ants. Hidden at the bottom of the pit, with only the jaws projecting above the surfaces, the larva then waits for its prey. When the ant moves at the edge of the pit, the falling sand grains alert the antlion to its presence. The antlion starts throwing sand grains on the ant, trying to hit it and make it lose its balance. The unfortunate ant usually ends up sliding down the pit right into the jaws of the predator, which sucks the prey up and throws the remains of the body towards the edge of the pit.

GPS position

N 48° 55.562', E 17° 16.054'
[GPX]

[MAPY.CZ]

Contact

Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
Tel.:518 322 545
e-mail:visbk@bilekarpaty.cz
http://www.bilekarpaty.cz