Amourobius ferox

Amourobius ferox
By Peter Byles

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Voracious Predator

Voracious Predator

 A few days ago Melvin Grey came across this larva on a gate he was
painting. He gave it the full Melvin macro studio treatment in his home-made
light box. This is the fantastic image he produced. From what I've read
these 'fangs' are sunk into their prey, aphids or anything that they
encounter including each other! They inject something which dissolves the
internal organs of the victim in a minute and a half. Perhaps it is just as
well that they are only 1/2" long.

 I remember last summer, on one of Clare Flynn's jolly biodiversity trips,
someone found what looked like a large untidy Mealy Bug in the beating tray.
It was later identified as one of these Lace-wing larvae. It seems that they
cocoon themselves in body-parts of their victims. Grisly.

 They pupate and metamorphose into a fragile and delicate-looking Lacewing.
One occasionally finds one sipping nectar on a Wild Carrot flower and they
sometimes turn up in the moth trap. In Autumn some of these find crevices
and hibernate. Someone once gave me a pretty looking thing with a little
roof and a lot of bamboo sticks. A nice idea, but as far as I know only a
few earwigs have ever used it.

Peter Byles.

1 comment:

  1. The hoverfly sharing the flowers with the lacewing is Syritta pipiens, easily identified by its hugely enlarged hind femora.