Currently viewing the category: "Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies"

Subject:  BUG
Geographic location of the bug:  Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
Date: 02/07/2018
Time: 11:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this Bug in my towel in the bathroom
It looks scary, and I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old..  should I be concered
Thank you very much
How you want your letter signed:  thank you


This looks to us like the larva of an Antlion, commonly called a Doodlebug.  It poses no threat to your children, but it is a predator and it is possible a mild pinch might occur because of the prominent mandibles if one of your children tries to catch and hold the Doodlebug.  The big mystery for us is “why was it in your home in a towel in the middle of the winter?”  Most Doodlebugs dig in sandy soil, waiting at the bottom of a pit for ants and other unwary insects to tumble into their open jaws.


Subject:  Owlfly South Africa
Geographic location of the bug:  KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Date: 02/07/2018
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this Owlfly on a pumpkin leaf in the early evening. I’ve not seen one before and would like to identity which Owlfly it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Katherine


Dear Katherine,
Owlflies belong to the family Ascalaphidae. Your individual resembles this individual posted to iSpot, but it is not identified to the species level.

Subject:  Dragonfly or Moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Dolphin Coast South Africa
Date: 01/18/2018
Time: 05:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
This bug flew into our 1st-floor apartment last night. When flying it looks like a dragonfly. Up close it resembles a moth as it is hairy.  The wingspan is around 20 cm or 7 inches from tip to tip so it is quite large. If it is a type of dragonfly then it is by far the largest I have ever seen and we get some pretty big dragonflies here.
The head resembles a bumble bee and has what looks like a beak.  It stayed the night and then flew out this morning.
How you want your letter signed:  Terry

Antlion: Palpares speciosus

Dear Terry,
This is an Antlion and we found this image on FlickR of
Palpares speciosus that looks very similar to your individual.  Wikimedia Commons also has an excellent image identified as the same species and Minden Pictures has a gorgeous image by entomologist Piotr Naskrecki that is identified only by the genus.

Antlion: Palpares speciosus

I know the larvae stage of this insect very well. I don’t think I have ever seen the adult form or perhaps have just mistaken it for a dragonfly.
It’s amazing how big they can get. Thank you so much for answering my question.
Kind Regards,

Subject:  Dragonfly like bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia
Date: 11/24/2017
Time: 05:46 AM EDT
There is this bug that looks like a dragonfly but is like a noctrural bug
How you want your letter signed:  Oliver lee

Blue Eyes Lacewing

Dear Oliver,
This elegant looking, but feeble flying predator is a Blue Eyes Lacewing which you can verify on the Insects of Brisbane site where it states:  “They have a pair of transparent wings of about equal size. When fly, they may be mistaken as dragonflies. But their wings are fold in tent shape whish dragonflies do not do. They can also distinguished by their long antenna. Adult body is orange-brown in colour, with iridescent grey eyes. The moniliform antennae are black with pale apex. Legs are pale yellow. Their transparence wings are narrow with a white marking on the wing tips.”

Subject:  Egg display
Geographic location of the bug:  Gulf Coast
Date: 10/15/2017
Time: 06:37 PM EDT
Found this lovely little display on my patio today. Any chance you know who may have left it?
How you want your letter signed:  A.

Lacewing Eggs

Dear A.,
These are Lacewing Eggs.

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