Little sucker, immature bug?
Location: Melbourne, Victoria. Australia
March 20, 2011 12:22 am
I felt something biting my ankle earlier today, so I had a look at found this little fella having a nibble. I thought it may be a springtail at first, but honestly I’m stumped.
He has interesting orange, yellow and black markings. I would say he’s about 4-5mm long, he has 6 legs that I can see, and pincers up the front.
He uses his rear end to help inch himself forward as well as stick to objects. He also appears to have some grey dust/lint attached to his back.
Unfortunately my camera isn’t suited for taking macro images but these are the best two I could get from above/below, and one included for scale.
You were bitten by a harmless Lacewing Larva. Larval Lacewings are important predators that help keep down the population of other insects, especially Aphids and related plant feeders that can do major damage in the garden. Some Lacewing Larvae adhere debris, including the remains of their prey, to their bodies as a form of camouflage, and that might explain the dust you mentioned. Thankfully, there is a significant scale difference between humans and Lacewing Larvae because otherwise we wouldn’t stand a chance against this fierce predator.
Thanks for that, we actually have a pretty severe aphid problem in the garden right now, so I made sure to release him back outside where he can be of some benefit. I had heard lacewings were beneficial but had never seen one before, now I know what to look out for and I can make sure they don’t get squashed along with any nearby aphids. 🙂