Currently viewing the category: "Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant Lion
Location: Buderim, Australia
October 6, 2014 8:35 pm
Hi,
I just found this bug on our garage wall (under the house). I live at Buderim, Queensland, Australia. It looks like an ant lion or lacewing in the larval stage. It has debris attached to it’s body and when moved rolls up into a ball as much as possible. It is just over 1 cm long.
Signature: Stuthie

Antlion covered in debris

Antlion covered in debris

Dear Stuthie,
Your images are positively gorgeous.  We hope you don’t mind that we color corrected them.  This larval Antlion is quite distinctive in that it is covered in debris.  Antlions are related to Lacewings, and some Lacewing Larvae, aka Aphid Wolves, also cloak themselves in debris that is composed of the carcasses of their prey.  Those mandibles, those the jaws of death, do not seem what one would expect on Doodlebugs, a common North American name for Antlion larvae that await, buried at the bottoms of cone shaped holes, for all hapless ants or other creatures to fall into their clutches.

Gaping Jaws of a Doodlebug

Gaping Jaws of a Doodlebug

 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dragonfly?
Location: South Carolina
August 31, 2014 6:44 pm
I have never seen this bug before. Is it some kind of dragonfly?
Signature: Nikon

Antlion

Antlion

Dear Nikon,
You are not the first person who has written to us mistaking an Antlion for a Dragonfly.  In our minds, the greatest similarity they possess is the way the wings move, but not the way the wings are held.  The wings of both orders, Neuroptera and Odonata, are able to move independently of one another.
  Of Neuroptera, BugGuide states:  “Four membranous wings: FW and HW about same size or HW a little wider at base;  wings usually held rooflike over body at rest; wings generally with many veins.”  Of Dragonflies in the suborder Anisoptera of the order Odonata, BugGuide states:  “Wings usually held outstretched horizontally at rest. Hindwing is broader at base than the forewing. Male has three terminal appendages on abdomen; female has only two.  Males and females often colored differently. Details important to identification include face color, eye color, color and markings on the thorax and wings, color of the pterostigma (small colored area near the front edge of the wing), color and markings of the abdomen and shape of the abdomen. Recently emerged (teneral) individuals are often pale, unmarked, and impossible to identify until they develop the adult color pattern. Some change color several times on the way to sexual maturity (within a few days); some change color with temperature, and some also change color after death.”  Additional differences include the complexity of metamorphosis.  Dragonflies have incomplete metamorphosis with aquatic nymphs known as Naiads.  Antlions have complete metamorphosis which includes a dormant pupa, and the terrestrial larvae are known as Doodlebugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Northwest Arkansas
August 8, 2014 7:34 pm
Found this crawling on my phone next to a blanket that was brought in from outside. It’s August 8th 2014 and I’m in Springdale AR.
Signature: Terry

Aphid Wolf

Aphid Wolf

Hi Terry,
This is a predatory Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf.  They are important natural predators of Aphids and other garden pests, and though we have received reports of people being bitten by Lacewing Larvae, the bite is little more than an itchy annoyance.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – Help, please?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
August 8, 2014 8:21 pm
Hi,
I was out in the back today and spotted this bug on what my seed packet says is Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). Can you please help with identification when you have a chance?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Aphid Wolf is Lacewing Larva

Aphid Wolf is Lacewing Larva

Hi Anna,
This is a highly beneficial Lacewing Larva or Aphid Wolf.  True to their common name, Aphid Wolves will consume large quantities of Aphids, though very young Monarch Caterpillars might also fall victims.
  Many folks have been writing in maligning this beneficial predator by stating they have been bitten by a Lacewing Larva.  Daniel was bitten by a Lacewing Larva once, but other than slight itchiness, there was no ill effect.

Thanks very much!  I’ve taken pictures of Lacewing Larva before, but with the point & shoot camera and the shots weren’t as good as this happens to be.  I didn’t recognize it.
Anna

Nice investment, that new camera.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a louse?
Location: Lensedly, Czech Republic
August 1, 2014 12:43 am
Dear Bugman,
in our bedroom we have found multiple pieces of something that we thought was a louse, but have doubts as the shape of the body (the abdomen) is much thinner. Additionally, my wife says it bit her while crawling on her arm, even though it was not particularly painful and left no trace of the bite on the skin.
Any idea?
Thanks so much,
Signature: Dan Stastny

Lacewing Larva

Lacewing Larva

Dear Dan,
This is NOT a Louse.  This is the Larva of a Lacewing, and important predatory family that preys upon Aphids and other plant pests.  We have gotten reports of bites from Lacewing Larvae in the past, and the reaction tends to vary from person to person, but there has not been any report of a severe allergic reaction to the bite based on our information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mysterious green dragon-fly looking bug
Location: Portland, oregon
July 29, 2014 12:48 pm
Dear Bugman,
We found this bug while sweeping our porch today. Both the six-year-old bug expert I was babysitting and myself could not identify this insect. Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much for your time!
Signature: Electronically

Green Lacewing

Green Lacewing

Dear Electronically,
Green Lacewings like the one in your image are important predators that feed upon many agricultural pests, including Aphids.  Both adults and larval Lacewings feed on Aphids.  Green Lacewings are sometimes called Goldeneyes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination