Currently viewing the category: "Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies"
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Subject: Mantis??
Location: Toronto, Canada
July 26, 2017 7:31 pm
Hello bugman!
It’s been a while since my last request, but here’s one for you. This was found inside here in Ontario, Canada, in August. It was about 1/2inch long with curiosly large pincers, a type or stage of mantis??
Signature: Kyle


Dear Kyle,
As its common name implies, this Mantispid or Mantisfly does bear an uncanny resemblance to its namesake, however, Mantispids are classified with Lacewings and Antlions as Neuropterans, and they are not even closely related to Mantids.  They have evolved to have similar appearances because of the way they hunt.  Based on BugGuide images, we believe your Mantispid is
Leptomantispa pulchella.

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Subject: Tiny Alligator Bug
Location: North Virginia
July 14, 2017 6:05 pm
Hi Bugman,
I noticed this tiny bug crawling around a tennis court. For some reason, it reminded me of a tiny alligator. I believe it was crawling on my forearm, if that helps indicate the size. The location was somewhere around Aldie, VA, and I found it in the month of May.Thanks for your help.
Signature: The BugWatcher

Lacewing Larva

Dear BugWatcher,
This is a predatory Lacewing larva, and they are sometimes called Aphid Wolves because they eat large quantities of Aphids, which makes them an important natural method to control insect populations.  They are sometimes sold commercially by nurseries that specialize in organic methods of insect control.  You should be warned that many folks write to us complaining about the bites of both Lacewing larvae and adults.  Though the bite of a Lacewing larva is not serious, we can personally testify that the itching that results is proportionally greater than the size of the critter.

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Subject: What the heck is this?
Location: West Hartford, CT
June 30, 2017 8:54 am
I have never seen one of these before, and my go to bug nerd friend was stumped, too. It appears to have come out of a thin clear cocoon of sorts, so I am guessing it started life as an inconspicuous wormy thing recently reborn as this little weirdo. I found it on the window in my office.
Signature: Should I be Worried


Though it resembles a Preying Mantis, this Mantidfly is classified in a completely different insect order with Lacewings and Antlions.

Thanks! I put the little guy in my garden. Hopefully, that’s a better spot for it than my office. Definitely going to look this one up.
Have a great day!

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Subject: Many At Porchlight Nightly
Location: Fredericksburg
June 23, 2017 9:27 am
These bugs….I gave a measurement scale with my finger. They are at my porch light nightly and seem very dull looking until a photo enlarges them.
This photo was taken June 23 in Fredericksburg, Va. at 2:00 AM or so (When they seem to be more apt to come to the light).
I’m sure that they’re VERY common, I just don’t know what they are…..All my pics are night time porch light pics.
Little fellows are very beautiful.
Signature: susan warner

Brown Lacewing

Dear Susan,
This is a predatory, beneficial Brown Lacewing in the family Hemerobiidae, a group well documented on BugGuide where it states:  “Adults and larvae predaceous. Homopterans, such as aphids, are favorite prey.”

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Subject: Long Tailed Lace Wing Flying Insect
Location: Menifee, California
June 22, 2017 4:37 pm
I found this lovely specimen on the siding of my porch this morning. Its now the late afternoon and I can’t blame him/her for resting here during all the heat we’re having. It’s about a total of 2in. long and about 5/8in. in width at the widest point. Very symmetrical flying insect.
Signature: Dave Nadzam


Dear Dave,
The reason you noticed a similarity between your Antlion and a Lacewing is that they are classified in the same insect order, Neuroptera.  Based on images posted to BugGuide, we believe your individual is in the genus

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Subject: Bug in guest bedroom
Location: Texas
April 2, 2017 6:52 pm
Its been a week since we had company in the guest bedroom. I was cleaning up the bedding and found this bug under the quilt. It was alive and I didn’t see any others. No one has been in this room since our company left. Please tell me what it could be?
Signature: Creeped Out

Lacewing Larva

Dear Creeped Out,
You have nothing to fear.  This is a Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf.  It is an outdoor insect that will help rid your garden of Aphids and other unwanted pests.  We suspect it is not happy it found itself in your guest bed.  Though we have received numerous reports from people who have been bitten by Aphid Wolves (and this includes our own editorial staff) the effects of the bite are quite localized, and limited to itching that might last as long as a week.

Aphid Wolf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination