Jacobs Journal of Entomology and Zoological Studies

Scientists, Beware of the Predatory Ant Lion, Retraction Watch

Published on: 2018-10-16


The ant lion (Myrmeleon sp.) is a fascinating insect, not so much the adult stage, but rather the young larval stage. Though small, the vicious nature of its predatory behavior, entrapping its prey, often making escape impossible by showering them with sand, the ant lion is a formidable predator. Once the prey’s carcass has been tossed aside, or left to dry, the ant lion then awaits its next unsuspecting prey to fall, first into its pit, and then into its mandibles. Retraction Watch is a sci- ence watchdog that has grown in prominence, and welath, despite being a “registered charity” that functions very much like an ant lion but shares none of the properties that are reminiscent of ants, such as their socially acceptable and highly inte- grated nature, or of lions, with confident, imposed, but respected predatory dominance. Retraction Watch, like the lion ant, hides in wait. This spoof paper, a parody of sorts, draws a somewhat tongue-in-cheek entomological analogy between ant lions and Retraction Watch, based on personal experience with both. Similarities and differences have been tabulated.


Center for Science Integrity Inc.; COPE; Ethical Boundaries; Myrmeleon sp.; Predatory