This is another retread from a nursery news letter, but I have added more information at the end about catching, keeping and managing these cute little carnivores. Ant lion has a different meaning in other parts of the world, but I gather that there are strong similarities.
Catching ant lions: if you chase them they can burrow fast. I use and old cup and scoop up the pit and everything for about 3 cm below the base, and I tip this sand into a jar.
Once i have several of the animals, I transfer the jar's contents to a tray containing about 3 cm of dry, clean sand, sprinkling the sand from the jar over the surface. The ant lions lie very still for a while, so you may not see them. Then they move backwards across the sand before backing down into it. You can see a trail going from left to right in the photo above, half-way up.
They often wait for a day or so before making a pit, so be patient.
Catching ants: Do not use a pooter! Ants release formuc acid when they are handled, and this burns the throat. Depending on the species, put a sheet of paper with a spot of Vegemite
or a scrap of meat (for meat ants) or honey (other ants). When enough ants are on the sheet, pick the paper up and shake the ants into a jar.
The rig on the right shows a neat way to stop the food ants escaping. There is water in the larger tub. In use, the handle on the inner tub is upright, so there is no escape for the ants.
Water: Ant lions live in sandy soil that is somewhat shaded and also protected from direct rain, so they probably don't like full sunlight or damp conditions. I imagine they get all the fluid they need from their prey, but I usually keep one corner of the tray clear of sand, and add small amounts of water in that corner, enough to saturate the lowest millimetre or two of the sand.
When you have finished with your ant lions, release them back where you caught them, or keep feeding them until they mature, change into lacewings and fly away. If you have a covered tray, you may be able to see the adults when they emerge, but check it every day, and don't open it inside.
The photos are all mine, the drawings are from my 1985 book, Exploring the Environment.
Incidentally, it struck me that maybe I was repeating myself, and indeed I am: there are even some pictures in common, but the approaches are a bit different. Now I wonder: am I getting better or worse? You decide: the first version is here.