July 30, 2008
It's the second half of summer and the cicadas are a-buzzing in the trees in the late afternoon. When I pointed this out to the neighbor, he said, "Oh. You mean the locusts?" "Well, yes and no." I replied. It's complicated.
Bob Dodds, Lee County Extension Education Director sent in a great photo of one our least-seen, common insects in Iowa: the antlion. Antlions are devious, cold-blooded killers. They make small, conical pits in loose sand in dry, sheltered locations (photo below). Unsuspecting ants that stumble into the pit slide to the bottom and are quickly sucked dry of all body fluids by the larva hiding just under the surface at the bottom of the pit.
As mentioned in the Clinic Update now is the time to find some of Iowa's largest insects. See the photo below for one example sent by Dennis Molitor, Carroll County Extension Education Director.