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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/bug that spins in the dirt

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Question
I have seen a lot of places in my flower bed where the dirt has spiral shaped holes. I saw the bug digging. I live in Iowa, spring time, no matter what time of day.

Answer
Donis:

I suspect you are describing the larvae of antlions, family Myrmeleontidae:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/137

In North America, only the genus Myrmeleon make the funnel-shaped pits.  The larvae are at the bottom, waiting for ants and other insects to fall into their trap.  The larvae are often referred to as "doodlebugs."

The adult insects look much like damselflies.

Hope this helps.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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