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In anxious times, Japan bug lovers chill by watching ‘hell for ants’

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Tiny, funnel-shaped holes were visible here and there on the ground. They varied in size and depth, but the base of all were a near-perfect circle.

Ibuki Inuzuka, 15, a first-year high school student in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, showed me a bunch of pits freshly dug by antlion larvae. The pits are known as “arijigoku” (hell for ants) in Japan.

Ibuki has long been fascinated by insects. She became interested in them in the summer of her second year at elementary school, when she started watching antlion larvae dig pits at her grandparents’ home in the city’s Tenryu Ward to find out how they trapped passing ants.

As part of her independent research........

© The Asahi Shimbun