What is this strange creature
Location: Nowra NSW, Australia
March 17, 2011 7:16 am
This funny looking bug was found on the wall of our dining room. It’s only about 1cm in leangth & curled up like a slater as soon as it was touched. not a great photo but I can tell you that the fragmented looking parts on it back fall away quite easily. 6 legs hide underneath the body.
If there was no letter attached to this image, we would identify this as the larva of an Antlion, often called a Doodlebug, which buries itself in the sand at the bottom of a pit with just the jaws exposed. It eats ants and other creatures that fall into the pit. Some Antlions may have larvae that are more mobile. Your letter indicates it was crawling on a wall, which inclines us to speculate that it might be a Lacewing Larva as many Lacewing Larvae camouflage themselves with bits of debris. At any rate, both Antlions and Lacewings are in the insect order Neuroptera. The Brisbane Insect website has a great photo of an Antlion Larva.