Larval antlions are oval, plump, flattened, soft-bodied, with segmented abdomens and 6 legs. They are mottled and dirt-colored, often with bristles. The head is flattened and bears a pair of large, sicklelike pincers that often have spines. Larvae in the genus Myrmeleon are most familiar. Though seldom seen, they live just beneath small, conical pits they create in sandy or loose soil. When they walk about on sandy surfaces, they leave behind meandering, scrawl-like patterns, hence the name “doodlebug.”
Adult antlions are much larger than their larvae and look like fragile, drab damselflies, with an elongated body, four intricately veined wings mottled with browns and black, and clubbed or curved antennae about as long as the combined head and thorax.