Anila Krishnan, Francy Kunhip Kakkassery
Abstract: Antlion larvae makes pits in the sandy soil with their mandibles. The natural predators on ants, they have a special strategy to predate. Pit building in loose sandy soil is the fascinating behaviour pattern shown by antlion larvae. The relationship between the antlion larval size and pit size were analysed using standard software. A total of sixty pits were analysed for this study and the measurements were made. Twelve of them are non resident pits. From correlation analysis, a high positive correlation between larval body width and pit diameter and a negative correlation between larval head length and pit depth were found. Also instar determination was done by using highly correlated parameters. From this result, we can predict the larval size of antlions inhabiting a pit by using its pit diameter. Approximately the diameter of pit 1.2-2.2, 2.2-3.2, 3.2-4.2 have the larvae with body size 2.9, 3.4, 3.8 respectively. A short note regarding the trailing behaviour of larvae is also included. The trailing was started within 3sec to 50 minutes from the introduction of larvae to the soil and started from the centre to the north of the tray in every experiment.
Keywords: Antlion larval size, pit size, instar determination, trailing behaviour