Currently viewing the category: "Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies"
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"Dirt hole" bug
I found this bug in a dirt "hole" that the bug apparently created himself. I noticed him in the bottom of it because of a small termite that was trapped by the soft-dirt sides, and could not crawl out of the hole. The bug was completely covered in the bottom of the hole, and only its pinchers would come out to try and grab the termite when it slid back down to the bottom. Just wondering what kind of bug it is.
I live in north Alabama, if that helps.

Hi Trevor,
What a great photo of a Doodle Bug, the immature Ant Lion. As you observed, the larvae live at the bottom of a pit with only their formidable jaws exposed. There they wait patiently for ants or other insects to slip into their waiting mouths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

pic of bug
THis is the bug that I dug up from the dirt volcano reversed I wrote you about 2 days ago. It isn’t the best of pictures, but it looks like a weevile or beetle of some sort. Instead of antena’s it has pinchers. When you shake them around they play dead, but with their pinchers open ready to bite. They are the size of a raisen. Any info would be helpful. Are they bad for my house?

You have Doodlebugs, the immature larva of the Ant Lion. The Doodlebug waits at the bottom of its burrow for ants to tumble in and then eats them. They will not harm you nor your home.

Thank you so much. I love your web site. What a great idea!!! I just found it a few days ago and I have been looking at it for days, and all the ugly bugs that people find. You’ve been very helpful and so quickly too. Yesterday I did set the doodlebugs free and alive. I had hoped they were harmless. If not they would have met with Mr. Raid very quickly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mantid ID needed
Sent some pictures of this mantis before, but they were of poor quaility. This one’s much better. Mantis was found indoors in VA in early Dec 04, but we had recently returned from FL so it may have hitched a ride. Very small, just under an inch in length. Any ideas? Is it indigenous to VA? To North America?

Your lovely photograph is not of a Preying Mantis, but an unrelated species of Mantidfly. Mantidflies or Mantispids, belong to the Order Neuroptera which includes Dobsonflies and Lacewings. They are in the Family Mantispidae. We are only familiar with brown species so we checked with Eric Eaton who wrote back: “Yes, this is a mantispid, but I’m not sure of the genus and species. Mantispa was split recently, and so this particular species may fall under another genus now.” They are common in the South. Hope that helps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this bug
I recently found many of these bugs in my apartment. It has been raining a lot recently and I’m not sure if that has anything to do with them being inside. I have included pictures of them but they are actually an amber color and transparent. They fly and seem to be attracted to the light. Please help me identify them so I can get rid of them!

Hi Julie,
Eric Eaton wrote to us identifying these images as “brown lacewings (family Hemerobiidae, order Neuroptera). Larval brown lacewings prey on aphids, so they are nice insects to have around.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this spongy-fungusy-like bug?
We are on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and have many of these strange bugs that carry things that look like sponges or fungus. They crawl on the picnic table under the oaks and pines. They look like moving bread crumbs with white legs. We are attaching a photo of one of the bugs. It’s at the upper left of the photo. Any ideas? Thanks.
You have a great website!
Margaret, Pamela and Meredith

Hi Girls,
I looks to me like you might have a photograph of a Brown Lacewing Larva, Family Hemerobiidae, known as Aphid Lions or Aphid Wolves. The larvae often cover themselves with debris including the empty skins of their victims.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I took this picture before I realized you already covered this bug ( Chrysoperla plorabunda?) on your site. I’m sending it anyway since you didn’t have a good clear shot of this bug. Keep up the good work.
John Waters

Thanks so much John,
We really appreciate your excellent photo which reveals why these lovely creatures are sometimes called Golden Eyes. We also just posted a photo of an Aphid Lion, the nymph stage of the Lacewing.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination