Posts tagged biology

Marvin the antlion

The antlion, cousin of the lacewing, is a strange little pit-digging insect. In their adult forms, they’re among Mother Nature’s great works of art:

Adult lacewings are a fairly common (but by no means unwelcome!) sight in North Carolina, fluttering delicately on an evening breeze. However, to stumble over the lacewing in its larval form takes, in my experience, a much more keen eye. The larvae are fierce predators, some of whom have an interesting habit of carrying shields on their backs made of lint, detritus, and whatever else they can get their grubby little mitts on. I, by accident, encountered a fine specimen on an NC Oak tree. I took a video where you can sort of make out its legs and mandibles when it’s flipped over:


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