Subject: Hatching Green Lacewing larva
Location: Naperville, IL
August 9, 2012 2:13 pm
I have been determined to get photos of a green lacewing larva hatching ever since you first helped me identify its eggs many moons ago. Finally, with a new macro lens, a makeshift studio, and a little patience, I was rewarded this morning. I had to leave before I witnessed it crawl down its filament, but I was able to watch it perform some pretty impressive gymnastics to wriggle free from its egg. When I returned from my errand, it was crawling around its dried-up leaf, desperately seeking an aphid, so I returned it to the plant upon which it had been originally laid, only to witness it immediately begin to chase an oleander aphid. It moved far too swiftly for me to capture the moment, but it was awfully fun to watch. All the best to you!
Signature: -Dori Eldridge
Your submission just made our morning and we will be tagging it as one of our scrolling homepage featured postings. Your photos are wonderful and well worth the effort. We remember reading as a child that Lacewing Eggs are stalked because the hatchlings are so ravenous that they would cannibalize their siblings if they were not distracted by needing to climb down the stalk after emerging. The stalks also make nearby eggs something of an obstacle course to reach. By evolving in this manner these hungry Aphid Wolves, as they are commonly called, would have a greater survival rate and would subsequently help control Aphids that can reproduce in prodigious numbers. This is also a fine place to take a break and have a morning cup of coffee as the sky is just beginning to lighten here in Los Angeles.
Thank you, Daniel! It is your web site and your book – that I actually carry around with me – that have made me so interested in capturing snapshots of this absolutely fascinating world. I am always astounded and humbled by the intricacies of critters so tiny that I can barely see them with my own eyes. Thank you for this wonderful web site. Enjoy your coffee!
That is so nice to hear Dori. The coffee was wonderful, but it is time to perk a new pot. That first morning cup was left from the day before, but percolated coffee keeps quite well at room temperature and it ensures a quick first cup that just needs to be reheated.
Daniel, have you seen this recent story about a new lacewing species and its unique discovery process:
I thought it rather timely! I hope you have a lovely weekend.
There are so many unidentified species on FlickR. We often find matches to insects we are trying to identify and many times there is no identification. Thanks for sharing this wonderful news story.