Antlion Monster

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Oh shit.....

The Antlion Monster is usually found in the Shifting Sand Land waiting for its prey at the bottom of a pit, with only its mouthparts visible until it emerges for battle.

The inspiration for most of these is the larva of the antlion, which digs out a hole and waits for food to come tumbling down.

See also Sand Worm and Pit Trap, which this can be considered a combination of.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In an episode of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, while crossing the Deadly Desert, the characters encounter a giant antlion.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, The Rock Spirit had the card Sand Doodlebug, which was a giant antlion larva.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • The Sarlacc from Star Wars is a plant-like monster whose only visible part is its gaping tentacle-lined mouth, hiding a much larger body.
  • One such creature appears in Enemy Mine, and uses a barbed tongue-like appendage to ensnare its prey.
  • Eight Legged Freaks: One subset of the Giant Spider horde includes a small group of Trapdoor Spiders, who quickly begin snatching away people into their burrows when the whole town is under attack. One guy manages to get past them by throwing a ladder on top of the trapdoor in front of him and walking his way across.

    Literature 

    Mythology 
  • Charybdis from Classical Mythology is a giant nautical version of this, with a whirlpool in place of a pit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Sandstorm sourcebook has a giant antlion as an enemy.
    • The giant ant lion first appeared in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the Monster Manual II. It was Large (larger than human) size and acted just like the Real Life version - digging a pit and waiting for victims to fall in. Once they did so it burst out and grabbed them with its huge mandibles, crushing them until they died.
    • The long-term creature the Ankheg (present in nearly every version0 could be considered to be a subversion - it physically resembles an ant lion nymph, even down to having venomous (or acidic) jaws - but does not create a cone or trap its prey, instead acting as a roving underground predator.
  • Warhammer: The Great Maw is a vast mouth in the ground, apparently sentient and capable of giving the ogres that worship it (by throwing food down its gullet) the ability to use Gut Magic.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Traptrix T'lion/Myrmeleo is based on the antlion, which sets traps to get its prey. It uses a little girl puppet to lure victims to its trap and devours them whole.

    Video Games 
  • Golden Sun. In the Lamakan desert, one can use Reveal on circles of rocks to see if they contain life-restoring oases. Sometimes they are revealed to be traps where an antlion's pincers are waiting; if it is, the party is forced to enter battle (sometimes Isaac is seen running as he is dragged backwards while the antlion Says It With Hearts). The antlion monster itself is a Big Creepy Crawly the size of a car.
  • Trapinch is a Pokémon that waits in its hole to capture prey, and like its Real Life counterpart, evolves into a dragonfly-like creature. Its Arena Trap ability prevents non-flying enemies from escaping.
  • Sandworm, the second boss of Wario World, waits at the bottom of a quicksand cone that drags you to him. He later reappears as a Degraded Boss in Pecan Sands.
  • Snipper from the Kirby series is an enemy with comically oversized antlion pincers that hides at the bottom of sandy pits.
  • Omega from Cave Story is a robot that waits for its victims (such as the player) buried in the sand to attack them by spewing numerous orbs before hiding again. After sufficient damage, it resorts to hopping around instead moving under the sand.
  • Antlions are an obstacle in SimAnt. Basically, they force you to be more careful with the auto-pathing since your ant has no real sense of self-preservation.
  • The giant Antlion Heartless, who serves as the third boss in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is more like a Sand Worm than an Antlion Monster, but it fits the key.
  • The Sorona map in Awesomenauts has a giant worm hiding in the bottom center. Hit the button just one jump above and the worm pops out to annihilate anything underneath.
  • The first boss of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Game Gear and Sega Master System is a Robotic Antlion. To defeat it, Sonic must dodge the cannonballs that Robotnik throws at him so that they will hit the Robotic Antlion. Eventually, Robotnik flies down at Sonic and Sonic must dodge him as well so Robotnik will inadvertently deliver the final hit. This boss is harder in the Game Gear version due to the reduced amount of space on the screen.
  • In Mega Man Zero, the Sand Jaws enemies lie on the sand and will bite Zero for slow but continuous pain if he touches them. The Quicksand Mixer enemy in the same level sucks Zero into a quicksand pit and deals strong collision damage if he touches them.
  • Astro Marine Corps has the great Lasaarc lurking in a pit at the end of Zone 2. Try to jump over it, and it will spit your bones out.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds have Antlion-like enemies called Devalants in Hyrule's desert area and the Sand Palace Dungeon. They bury themselves and create sand vortexes that they're visibly at the center of, and they try and get you to fall into. Some also shoot fireballs. You defeat them in the former game by attacking their heads while exposed, and in the latter by using the Sand Rod to get them above ground, then attacking them.
  • The boss fight against Molgera in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker revolves around the monster sticking its head out of a quicksand vortex with smaller versions of itself flying out of the sand to attack. You have to attack its tongue with the Hookshot and then slash it with your sword to inflict damage. Molgera will also erupt from its pit, fly around the room, then divebomb Link and try to swallow you in a single gulp.
  • Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles has a giant antlion boss in it's desert level, which is even named "Antlion". When you encounter it it surprises you by surfacing from under the sand and attacking. Half it's body remains underground, while it moves through the sand and attacks you.
  • Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V feature antlions as bosses. In the former, it borders on Tragic Monster, as Edward explains it's tame right before it attacks him, and then almost breaks down crying after the group is forced to kill it.
    • So does Final Fantasy IX. It's actually one of the many recurring enemy types that span many of the games in the franchise, often as a boss, though sometimes as just a big mook in Random Encounters or as a mini-boss around desert areas.
  • If you send a monster out on errantry in the desert themed area in Monster Rancher, the third hazard it needs to get past is a "Giant Antlion". If it succeeds, it manages to run up the sides of the sand pit, if it fails, it falls into it.
  • In Ribbit King for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, the Lavatron planet has mouths sticking out of the ground, which the frogs can get stuck in as a hazard. Danny of Game Grumps even noted their similarity to Sarlaccs when the Grumps played it.
  • Secret of Mana has the Spider Legs in the obligatory desert region. They're usually found in sand pits, and will target whoever disturbs them with a painful Earth Slide spell before hiding in the ground again. They can nuked with magic before they even show themselves, though.
  • The boss of the third world in Yoshi's Island DS, Priscilla the Peckish, is this. She eats the Shy Guys that fall into the sand pit and spits out Needlenoses at you, and if you try to jump over her, she will leap up out of the sand pit and try to eat you, chewing on you for a few seconds then spitting you out if she does.
  • The PC Engine version of Strider has a giant antlion as the mid-boss of the Shifting Sand Land stage.
  • The aptly named Antlions of Half-Life 2, which pop out of the sand and attack you whenever you spend more than a fraction of a second on it.
  • Ultima Online features a giant "ant lion" as a monster in the dungeon Shame, although it looks nothing like the insect larvae that inspired it.
  • In Terraria, antlions make up several pre-Hardmode desert enemies — not only the larvae that burrow in the sand, but also the winged adult.
  • Corruption of Champions has a Cute Monster Girl version in the Desert. If you end up in a fight with it, you have to alternate climbing up the pit with attacking it, or else you'll be dragged to the bottom and lose automatically. On the other hand, sometimes you catch yourself right before you would have walked into the pit, at which point you have a choice between fighting her or, since she can't move, just turning around and leaving.

    Real Life 
  • Trope Maker: The antlion larva, of course. It wedges itself backward into sand, and the uses his head and mandibles to dig. Slowly it creates a funnel-shaped trap, with it at the center. And then it digs into the sand and waits. When something (usually an ant) falls into the funnel, the ant tries to get out, but the sand being fluid, begins to slide, preventing the ant from climbing it. So the ant lion tosses sand at it in order to increase the sandslide, and to bring it down to it. That's when the antlion grabs is with it's large, serrated mandibles, injects poison into it that liquefies the insides (it can't actually *eat* things in the normal sense) and then sucks the ant dry. So yeah, it deserves the title of "monster".
    • Though it is utterly harmless to humans and it is actually quite gentle when not inside a pit.
  • The Australian Funnel Web Spider does this, with the added refinement that its funnel-shaped pit is lined by sticky web.
  • Trapdoor Spiders employ a similar tactic to antlions. They make a burrow with a hinged lid and line the entrance with its own silk as a tripline then hide inside to ambush any insect that walks onto the silk.


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