Friday, September 12, 2014

Lacewing larva


I found this tiny lacewing larva, which was about 3mm. long, on the surface of a pear in our garden. If it hadn't scuttled away when I reached out to pick the pear I would never have spotted it.




Lacewing larvae, equipped with long, needle-sharp jaws, are predators of small insects like greenfly and they have a particularly gruesome habit. When they've sucked all the nutrients from their prey they impale their victim's empty corpse on the hairs on their back.




As the lacewing larva grows larger the pile of corpses grows until the larva is hidden under a coat of dead prey. You can see those lethal jaws a little more clearly in this view ....























.... and here's a more tightly cropped view of the head and jaws.

Useful natural pest control for any garden. Glad to have them around.


4 comments:

  1. Amazing find even though it looks a little grose.....
    Amanda xx

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    Replies
    1. The long-stalked eggs and the gauzy-winged adults are very beautiful - but this stage is something else!

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  2. I had no idea that the beautiful flying creature was so gory!

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    Replies
    1. It's a gruesome lifestyle, isn't it?

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