Unknown Naiad, Firefly larva, and Dipluran? Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM
I love your website, I’ve been interested in insects since I was younger and always dreamed of being an entomologist. When I entered high school I drifted away from my hobby but in the past few years my inner insect passion has returned.
While looking for insects to photograph at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in SW Michigan I found this strange insect on a tree beside the trail. At first I thought it might be some kind of true bug nymph based on its appearance but an entomologist at the Nature Center thought it looked like some kind of naiad. I found it several yards away from a small marsh/pond, but we had recently experienced a heavy rain storm and flooding at the time I took the photo back in July/August so it may have washed away from the pond after the waters receded if it is aquatic. If I remember correctly it was fairly small maybe a quarter of an inch or less. I went back a few hours later to study it more but it was gone.
The next two photos I took a few days ago in my grandparents’ woods just outside of Scotts, Michigan. The first insect I found under the bark of a rotting log, to me it looks like some kind of firefly larva but I have no idea what it’s holding, remains of a slug perhaps? The second I also found under bark of dead log, it looks like a Dipluran but I don’t really have any idea. I’m not an expert by any means but if you can better identify it, I’d greatly appreciate any of your help.
Thanks for your time,
Phillip “SITNAM7” in Climax, Michigan
SW Michigan, in Kalamazoo and Climax woods
Thanks for your wonderful letter. We are only posting your image of the Firefly Larva eating the Slug at this point. It really complicates our confusing system of archiving if there is more than one specimen in a letter. We are most excited about the Firefly Larva because it is the only image we have of it feeding. We sometimes have problems distinguishing Firefly Larvae from Netwing Beetle Larvae, but the former feed on snails and slugs, and the latter feed on fungus. This is an excellent addition to our Food Chain series.