Don’t stare at the eyes too long; you might fall under its spell.
I spotted this small mantidfly hanging out on the underside of this leaf. I’m always excited to find one of these.
I assume these are hatched lacewing eggs, though I think there are other critters that lay stalked eggs as well. What I found interesting was how long the stalks are relative to the eggs. The lacewing eggs I usually find have relatively shorter stalks. Compare the hatched ones above with some unhatched ones below that I found in a park close to home.
Searching around the internet I see two common explanations for why eggs are laid on stalks. First, the stalks make it more difficult for predators such as ants to reach the eggs. The stalks are sometimes even coated with a repellent substance. Second, lacewing larvae are cannibalistic and the stalks serve to keep keep newly hatched larvae away from each other.
I rarely find owlflies (family Ascalaphidae, order Neuroptera). Even though this one was in an unphotogenic location, I couldn’t resist a few photos.
This was a large one. The body was around 4cm long.
I was thrilled to find this mantidfly (family Mantispidae) on the underside of a large leaf. I’ve seen plenty of these attracted to lights at night, but I rarely encounter one in a natural setting.
Most lacewings are nondescript. So when I spotted this one on the underside of a leaf, I couldn’t pass it up. The markings are not unlike some Leucochrysa species here in the US.
Did you spot the hidden critter from this earlier post? No one commented, but I’ll go ahead and reveal the answer.
There’s a hint about two thirds of the way down on the left hand side. That’s a lacewing egg on a thread. And just to the right of that is the creature itself, a trash carrying lacewing larva. I circled the two in red below.
Still having trouble seeing it? Try this side view.
Of course, all you can really see is the debris. To see the actual critter, you have to turn it over, as I did here.
What I’d like to know is how it manages to pile all that stuff on without any long appendages.