Catching insects (Did my dad pull a fast one?)

When I was a kid, my dad showed my siblings and me a trick. What you had to do was find a small hole in the ground about 1/4 inch in diameter. This was the burrow of the infamous “chicken choker”. After that, you selected a long slender stem of a plant and poked it down into the hole. The story was that the creature inside would grab the stem to push it out of the hole. When you saw the stem start to move, you’d yank it out along with the creature. Dad told us that he used to do it all the time when he was a kid for fishing bait.

Cool trick, huh? There’s only one slight problem. In dozens and dozens of attempts, I’ve never seen it work or had it work for me. I can’t tell you what a “chicken choker” looks like because I’ve never seen one. To hear Dad tell it though, he’d snag half a dozen of the tiny beasts in 15 minutes time and head off to fish. Has he been pulling my leg this whole time?

The obvious thing to do would be to ask him but Dad’s not much of one for letting the facts get in the way of a good story. He still tries to tell me about going into an anti-gravity room at a state fair when he was kid. He also knows that I hold a degree in engineering and know that he’s full of it, but he sticks to the story just the same.

I happen to hold the title to the Brooklyn Bridge, if you are interested in purchasing it you can contact me through PM on this web site. I love you. The check is in the mail. I won’t c*m in your mouth.

Every time you choke a chicken, God kills a kitten.

Try the term “chicken choker” will not bring up an insect.

Wanna bet?

It’s an uncommon regional term for the tiger beetle larva.

Nice googling qed, as usual. But just because somebody in the same region has heard the term does not mean they were actually describing a tiger beetle. Your cite only said it sounds like a tiger beetle. I have been on many snipe hunts. I now know that there is such a thing as a snipe, but I also know that the older scouts that sent me on a snipe hunt never intended for me to catch anything.

And the someone who said that is an entomologist. And this tiger beetle larva looks exactly like the description given in the question, right down to the last detail.

Huh? I must be missing something. What description? He says he’s never seen one? Ya whooshin’ me?
ETA: Never mind. I whooshed myself.

Like I said, nice googling. When come back bring facts.

I used to play with those little bugs when I was little. If you stuck a thin stick in the hole and wiggled it around, the bug would come out. We called them doodle-bugs because we “doodled” them out of the hole. I’ve also heard them called ant-bears, but I’m not from the region that calls them chicken chokers. 100% for real, not a whoosh.

No. The one in my link:

That description.

See? Toldya.

Nobody said these bugs did not exist. Like the snipe the stories are based in fact, but the OP’s father was probably pulling his leg. Unless there is some reasonable explaination for why the the dad pulled up 15 regularly and yet failed to pull up one for his son. Come on be honest. You just googled it and linked to a hit? It’s ok we all have our flaws.

Are you speaking of antlions?
Some my contemporaries called them doodle bugs.

Yeah, I know. I neverminded upthread already.

Read much? The OP is asking if they actually exist. I’m sure the father WAS pulling his leg about catching a half-dozen (that’s 6) within 15 minutes (not 15 regularly), but that wasn’t really the question.

I posted before your edit. Sorry. :slight_smile:

The Urban Dictionary defines chicken choker as the larvae of the tiger beetle.

Google “chicken choker” and bait, and you will pull up numerous fishing websites with references to same.

There is a reference to a chicken choker in one of the essays here from The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

That’s funny, seems like it was the question after all.

Pithy Moniker, could your dad have been referring to the centrifugal force ride? I remember that the ride was called the “Space Room” and the signs proclaimed “Defy Gravity!!!”