Currently viewing the category: "Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Smart Tail
Geographic location of the bug:  Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania
Date: 07/31/2018
Time: 03:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
I have a pepper plant that some aphids infested. I took it outside in hopes of some ladybugs would predate them. I checked on the plant the next day, and the aphids were still there, but very docile.  I also noticed this weird bug on the bottom with the aphids.  It didn’t move at all when I turned the leaf over and examined it. I then pinched the leaf off the plant and placed the leaf on the porch to examine the bug better. It then moved very, VERY quickly to the top of the leaf, which was now facing the porch and therefore shady. I flipped the leaf over again, and the bug continuously sought shade.  It used its tail-abdomen in a very intellectual way; it seemed like it used its tail the way a monkey would, to grasp and hold onto things. It had six paper-thin legs and surprisingly long pincer-like mouthparts.  Its body appeared translucent and the colors are actually the organs. I think it may be the larval stage of some insect. It was about three aphids in length.  I didn’t want to capture it and possibly kill an unknown species, so I returned the leaf to the pot and rested it on the edge. I examined the plant the next day and all the aphids were gone, as well as the unknown bug. I don’t want to assume that the bug ate all the aphids, but something definitely ate everything because there was nothing left. I have not seen any aphids on the plant since nor have I seen this weird little guy.  Can you help me out in identifying this bug?
How you want your letter signed:  Kayla

Aphid Wolf

Dear Kayla,
Your observations and deductions are fascinating.  Your assumption that this Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf, ate the Aphids is most likely correct.  Though Lady Beetles are most commonly thought of as Aphid predators, Lacewings, both adult and larval, and Flower Fly larvae are probably more effective at controlling Aphids.

Lacewing Larva (right side) with Aphids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Possibly a female Eastern Dobson fly ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia – Northern VA rainy night
Date: 07/21/2018
Time: 11:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This seems to match the female Eastern dobson fly photos best, if the wing patterns can be variable and the lovely orange middle part to the antenna is permissible, except the mouth parts are not quite as large as usually shown on female dobson flies (I could not get a good mouth photo as she was so tight to the concrete and fidgety) and she was under two inches which seems small except it’s likely posted photos are often the exceptional and impressive individuals (thus the prevalence of male dobson photos)… so what bothers me is Mainly the abdomen seems much longer and somewhat more slender than any of the dobson photos. That last detail has me concerned that it’s some closely related insect and not exactly a dobson. Relative body length seems to be a somewhat odd thing to have be so variable… Thank you so much for the time and attention that goes into this entire web site. It’s super helpful and always fascinating!
How you want your letter signed:  My insect collection is all photos

Antlion

This is an Antlion, not a female Dobsonfly and we believe we have identified it as a Spotted Winged Antlion, Dendroleon obsoletus, thanks to images on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide: “Large, with black circular spots on wings–distinctive in much of range. Antennae slightly clubbed, with pointed tips, often (or always?) pinkish in the middle (based on photos in the guide)” and “Adults often come to lights.”  Because of your image based insect collection (which we are guessing is a class project) we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.  We have gotten both praise and grief in the past for not identifying some requests because we believe students need to learn to do research, but since your submission contained an actual attempt at identification, we have relaxed our policy on doing homework.

Wow! Thank you! I really was off… No, my image based bug collection is Not a “class project” – I’m 63 and although life can certainly include (and really should) prolonged or never-ending education, I’m not enrolled in any college classes anymore. I just like bugs – you can relate no doubt! I do carry spiders outside and never squish a smaller critter, but my award is undeserved in this case, not being a student (except life-long)…
Wanted to be an entomologist when I was a kid, became a psychologist, and yet I still love the insect types of “buggies”… Again, many thanks for the correction and I’ll make that correction on my photo title.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  1/4 inch stinging bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Hatfield, AT, USA
Date: 07/17/2018
Time: 09:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My grandmother was stung by this bug one day while sitting outside. She asked me to identify it but I found nothing about it.
How you want your letter signed:  Logan S.

Lacewing Larva

Dear Logan,
This is a Lacewing Larva, and Lacewings are considered beneficial insects that eat many plant eating insects, including Aphids.  Lacewing Larvas are sometimes called Aphid Wolves.  We get a fair share of inquiries about Aphid Wolves biting humans, and the reaction to the bite varies with the individual.  We don’t understand your location.  AT is not the abbreviation of any state in the USA.  Are you in Arkansas?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Little Ferry of a bug super long Wings super long antennas awesome giant eyeballs
Geographic location of the bug:  Ohio on my window curtain
Date: 06/16/2018
Time: 08:41 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  me and my ex-boyfriend are autistic we wanted to be entomologist as children this insect gets all of my honor what is he or she please I love this little baby look at how cute his eyeball is I got a super big close up picture coming for you
How you want your letter signed :  Mister cute big bug man eyeball

Green Lacewing

This is a predatory Green Lacewing in the family Chrysopidae and they are sometimes called Golden-Eyes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mantis?
Geographic location of the bug:  Corpus Christi, Texas
Date: 05/29/2018
Time: 11:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! Can you help me identify this flying bug? I THINK it only has 4 legs, so it’s not REALLY an insect, is it? It was on a friend’s porch last week.
How you want your letter signed:  B. McCray

Mantispid

Dear B. McCray,
Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions.  Both Mantids and Mantispids are predators that have adapted to using raptorial front legs for capturing prey.  We believe your individual is 
Dicromantispa interrupta based on this BugGuide image.

One quick question, tho – I know this isn’t a “praying” mantis – but I see “mantis” in the title “Mantispid” – so, are they related?
Thank you!!!
B. McCray
We repeat:  “Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions.”
Isn’t it odd, then for the word “mantis” to be part of the official word of what it is? It just seems confusing. 
But thanks!
Common names are often descriptive, and the resemblance between true Mantids and this Mantispid is being acknowledged in the name.  P.S.  Your submission is Bug of the Month for June 2018.
Oooo, that’s cool!! I just moved out into the Tecas Hill Country, wo we have a LOT of odd looking bugs I may ask you about.
Is that okay?

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Which insect is this? Pls tell if its harmful ?
Geographic location of the bug:  India ; U.P.
Date: 04/03/2018
Time: 06:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please identify this insect and tell me   about it
How you want your letter signed:  Imrose

Ribbon Winged Lacewing

Dear Imrose,
This is a Ribbon Winged Lacewing in the family Nemopteridae, and we believe it might be in the genus
Chasmatoptera because of a drawing posted to Wikipedia.  It is not harmful.  Lacewings are predators that will help control populations of other insects. 

Ribbon Winged Lacewing

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination