CLOSED: Fuzzy Bug ... Would like ID

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

I've seen these very small things crawling around for years now. They look like a crawling piece of fuzz. They blend in well with their surroundings as they just look like a piece of moss or something. But they scurry around on my plants. Anyone know what this bug is and what it's probably doing on my plants?

Thanks,
Donna

Thumbnail by DonnaA2Z
Stephenville, TX(Zone 8a)

I can't see the critter, only it's camouflage, but it is almost certainly a lacewing larva. They cover themselves with debris in order to hide. It works pretty well. Here is a picture from another website that looks similar and shows the larva from the side: http://www.flickr.com/photos/photophool/184529005/

-FM

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Do these things eat my plants you think?

Camoflage eh, slick little bug. Next time I see one, tomorrow probably, I'll try to remove it's camies and see what is underneath. They don't move really fast, so, I should be able to capture one.

Stephenville, TX(Zone 8a)

In answer to your question of eating your plants, nah, the lacewing larvae are predaceous and their meal preference is usually aphids, but any small tasty insect will do in a pinch.

As for removing it's camies, you may be successful, but I personally don't recommend it as they are notoriously shy when exposed and just happen to use their own poopy to attach their camo to their little bodies.

Ok, I made the shy part up. I'll leave it up to you if you want to play with it's poopy camies. ;-)

FM's wife,
KM

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

hill5422,

LOL... poop eh? Well, if they're eating the bugs that eat my plants (such as aphids), they can certainly stay. But sure would be cool to see what they really look like. If I am able to do it, I'll take pics. LOL

Take care,
Donna

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

It's called a trash carrier, and is the larva of the brown lacewing. If you turn it upside down you can see its body. Like Hill sez, it eats other little insects and then places the leftover exoskeleton of its food on its back for camouflage.

Here's a photo I took under the sterescope of one upside down. It's mandibles are pointing toward the top, bottom towards the bottom.

Thumbnail by ceejaytown
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

ceejaytown,

Very cool. And very interesting.

And as long as it is eating other insects and not my plants, it can sure stay.

Stephenville, TX(Zone 8a)

CJ,

Hmmmm,...normally the average gardening lay person doesn't have access to a stereoscope with photo capabilities, let alone a simple stereoscope.

My curiosity is now piqued.

Does your stereoscope reside in a home laboratory or your occupational laboratory??? Come on, fess up. I would like some details, please.

Kenya

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

BTW... I was playing around with these little fuzzy things today.... they don't seem to bite, which is a good thing. But I noticed that they could spin a string (pretty much invisable) to get around... like a spider.

Donna

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Kenya - Just a little something I had to have after using them at the zoo as a volunteer years ago. Comes in mighty handy with insects. Everybody should have one ;-) I took a little video of the critter moving around too - but can't figure out how to show it on DG. LOL

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

ceejaytown,

Can you create animated gifs from the video?

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Well, you're outta my league now. I have no idea. Probably have the capability as far as computer and software is concerned, but not the know how....

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

ceejaytown,

Is easy.... get a program to do it for ya!

http://www.freewareweb.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?ID=288

Microsoft Gif Animator... it's free! I'm pretty sure, remembering back when, that you can import video files.

Stephenville, TX(Zone 8a)

CJ,

Yes, of course, everyone should have a stereoscope in their home. Wasn't that a campaign slogan at one time? ...oh wait, no no no, that was a chicken in every pot or some such, lol. Ok, back on track. How neat that you have a 'scope to look at the world on a whole new level!

As to posting a video on DG, I think the only way to do so would be to upload and post the video online somewhere that hosts video postings, then come back here and post a link to your video. Depending on the website where you upload the video, there can be some drawbacks as to there being a limited number of views per day, etc.

Or you can ask Dave about how to do it. Maybe he could start a video posting forum on DG. Just a thought. :-)

Kenya

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

OK, Donna. - What would this do for me? Or y'all? I am pretty dense on this... I would be glad to do it, but what then?

Hill - That's a good idea about video postings, or bugging Dave about a forum. But I think he's got his hands full! LOL I'll check out some sites....

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

ceejaytown,

I think you could upload the gif files right here to DG. They would be animated. Not quite as good as a video, but close.

OR

Photobucket.com allows you to upload videos to them (free) and you can simply post a link.

The later might be easier actually. Just thought of it.

Donna

The Woodlands, TX(Zone 9a)

Wunnerful, wunnerful - thanks to both of you. I'll let you know what happens.

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