“DOODLEBUGS”

What are “doodlebugs”?  They are Antlions, a group of insects in the family Myrmeleontidae.  So now you know.  The  larva in the picture above is a doodlebug.

Antilion larvae trails (doodles) in sand. 

The adult is sometimes called Antilion Lacewing

Sand trap with remains of ant

The antilion larva is often called “doodlebug” in North America because of the odd winding, spiralling trails it leaves in the sand while looking for a good location to build its trap, as these trails look like someone has doodled in the sand.

This post is not to explain what a doodlebug is.  When I was growing up, I didn’t know  anything about antilion larva or antilion lacewings….doodlebugs were just doodlebugs.  To me, they were just toys to watch and fill my summer days.  There was not a lot of money for toys, so I normally just made do with those things that were plentiful around us.  I would ride “stick horses” made from Sassafras saplings.  I would harvest the right size sapling, strip the limbs, and tie a strip of cloth or heavy twine to use as reins.  When I arrived at my destination on my stick horse, a felt almost like I had run or walked the entire distance.  Of course, I need to have a gun to be a cowboy, so I would cut a forked stick (Sassafras) in the shape of a pistol.  Mother never knew I had been shooting my pistol because there was never any GSR (gunshot residue) for evidence against me.  We lived on the Appleby Sand Road and that was the correct name….it was covered by very deep sand.  When it was really hot in the summer, I would have to ride my stick horse (barefooted) from one shade to the next…..then rest while my feet cooled and ride to the next shade.

Now, back to my story about doodlebugs and them being one of my toys.  Out house was supported by brick columns and one side of the house was probably four feet off the ground.  It was pretty cool under the house and there were usually many doodlebug traps for ants.  The traps were built by the doodlebugs by throwing sand to the side with their front claws (much like crab claws) until there was an inverted cone-like hole.  When an ant accidentally fell into the trap, the doodlebug would begin throwing the sand out as the ant tried to climb out of the trap.  This would cause the ant to continue to slide to the bottom of  the trap until the doodlebug grabbed it with its claws and pull it under the sand.  I don’t know what happened next…I assume the antilion ate the ant.

The way I used them as toys was to catch an ant and throw him into the trap.  Then I could watch as the ant frantically tried to climb out of the trap.  I think it was frantic.  If I were the size of an ant and there was a doodlebug with large claws, I would have been frantic.  I could watch this game for what seemed like hours…maybe it was only minutes.  Sometimes I would root for the ant and other times I would root for the doodlebug.

I have been reading about pure pleasure.  I have come to realize that we serve a generous God who wants us to enjoy pleasures and gifts from His hands (creation).  As He delights us, we bring back pleasure to Him.  In the beginning, He created all things for His pleasure.  His gifts to us are not to control us, but for us to appreciate and honor the Creator as we enjoy the creation.  It is much like the relationship with parents and children.  We give to our children because of our love.  That gift of love has no strings attached.  The gift is not the important thing.  The most important thing is the relationship between the giver and the receiver.  That is the way it is with the gifts and blessings from God.  It is all about Him and His love for us and the pleasure we experience  by the gift and returning that gift of love to Him.

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2 Responses to ““DOODLEBUGS””

  1. Chang Maritn Says:

    I appreciate your wordpress design, wherever did you get a hold of it through?

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