Aphid Wolf

Subject: Help identifying this nymph like insect.
Location: Lapeer county, MI
August 4, 2012 1:52 pm
I have been finding these little buggers on the underside of my milkweed while looking for monarch eggs. They are about 1/2” long with pinchers in the front. I’m pretty sure I’ve been bitten/stung by them in the past…always feel a hot pain, and then look down to see one on my arm or leg. They always seem to show up in late summer. I believe it may be an immature stage of something, I just don’t know what; can’t find it in any of my insect books. Do you know what it is?
Signature: Sincerely, Colleen Smith

Lacewing Larva

Hi Colleen,
This is a beneficial Lacewing larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf.  they will help control the aphids on your milkweed.  It is possible that a large lacewing larva might also eat a newly hatched monarch caterpillar, but older caterpillars are safe.  Though it is not dangerous, the bite of an Aphid Wolf can be an irritation.

Thank you for your response! Good to know they’re beneficial…glad to know that between them and the ladybug larva, my aphids will be taken care of! I’ll just have to be careful not to “run” into them….their bites smart a bit!

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