Green Lacewing Larvae Use Corpses as Camouflage
Green lacewings are aptly named for the prominent venation of the adults’ wings. Some species in this insect family even have “ears” in the larger veins that allow them to detect the ultrasonic sounds made by hunting bats. Lacewing larvae and adults are both predators of soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Larval lacewings have long, hollow mandibles with which they puncture prey and suck out the liquefied contents, leaving the woolly husks. Some species of lacewing larvae have hairy backs, and camouflage themselves when in the presence of woolly aphids by sticking aphid husks on these hairs. These “trash packets” camouflage the lacewing larvae from predators, including ants that would otherwise attack the larvae if they recognized that they were lacewings and not woolly aphids.
Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.
This entry was posted on September 19, 2013 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Animal Adaptations, Anti-predatory Device, Ants, Aphids, Arthropods, camouflage, Defense Mechanisms, Insects, Invertebrates, Metamorphosis, September, Uncategorized and was tagged with Aphids, Chrysopidae, Green Lacewings, Lacewing Larvae, Lacewings, Neuroptera, Trash Packets, Woolly Aphids.