Saturday, September 3, 2016

Lichen-covered lacewing larva

A few weeks ago, I saw what I thought was a piece of debris stuck to my bedroom door.  I thought perhaps it was a piece of lichen-covered bark.  I figured it had come in on the camp chair that my son borrowed for a bluegrass festival.  (He had returned to chair to its storage place behind the door a day or two before.)  What I didn't quite know was how the bit of bark was sticking to a vertical surface, but I figured some sap or other unwanted tackiness was involved.  I took a closer look, though, and noticed that whatever was attached to the door was holding itself sort of like the meal moths that hang around.  But it did look like a lichen!  Hmmm.  Later, I thought I would scoop it up on a piece of paper and dump it outside.  I half expected it to fly when I touched it, but it didn't.
I've concluded that what I had was most probably a green lacewing larva.  They cover themselves with lichens to camouflage themselves.  Later they use the lichens as a case in which to pupate.
Here is the one that was on my bedroom door.  (This is a close-up; the critter was less than an inch long.)
Sometimes I don't even have to go outside to view the critters of the natural world.


  1. I reckon I never did see one of those dudes. If I did he was so camouflaged I didn't realize it. Very interesting how they do cover themselves. Nature has a way of surprising me.

    But Imma stick to lizards, we got thousands down here.

  2. I've never seen one. A few days ago I threw out watermelon for the chickens and this morning when I went out there were 7 butterflies on the rine. It was beautiful.