Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lacewing Larval Disguise

A ball of pollen-like fluff about 1/8 inch in diameter was moving around on our glass door. It looked like this:

If not for the rapid sliding and rotating movement, I would have thought it was just a bit of detritus stuck amongst the inevitable dust. However, the other side looked like this (at high magnification, greater than life size on the camera sensor, cropped to get closer still, and many times life size on your computer monitor):

A little internet searching revealed that it is the larval stage of a common variety of Lacewing. Many of them carry a backpack of fibers like this; my guess is that it's a camouflage against predators. This one was quite systematically scouring the glass surface for tinier things to eat. I will have to make a point of photographing some adult Lacewings this summer.

[Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro, 37mm of extension tubes, remote flash]



  1. What a wonderful and strange, Creature from the [Glass Door], picture! I hope you find some Lacewing butterflies (are they butterflies??) to photograph!

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you didn't mind the close look. I know some people are repulsed by "giant" insects, but they really are fascinating creatures to examine. I think Lacewings are a different order (neuroptera) from butterflies and moths (lepidoptera), but they do have beautiful wings. That's something I hope I can display later! Another hunt!

  2. This is the kind of eye-opening photo that emerges when the camera is employed by a very curious person with attention to detail and a foreknowledge of science! Wow! -------EVAnonymous


You may comment anonymously if you wish. Comments are moderated. Spam will be blocked or removed.