Friday, August 26, 2011

Junk Bugs - Lacewing Larvae - ID Photos

Junk Bug a larval insect known for carrying a heap of debris around as camouflage.
This week we photographed these Junk Bugs. Junk Bugs are predatory insects found in your vineyard. These predators are the larval stage of Lacewings.

Lacewings go through complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult) and have at least two generations per year. The life cycle takes about 4 weeks depending on temperature. A female Lacewing can deposit over 200 eggs. In 4 to 5 days, the eggs will hatch into small junk bug larvae.

Lacewing larvae are brownish and can have dark reddish-brown stripes and spots (as shown).

A Junk bug (lacewing larvae) on the surface of a leaf.
They have large jaws for grasping prey and injecting a paralyzing venom. Lacewing larvae, sometimes called aphid lions, typically feed on soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, and Light Brown Apple Moth. The larvae develop three instars in to 3 weeks, and are 9.5 mm long when full grown. Larvae will spin a silken pale cocoon that is loosely attached to foliage. During the pupal stage they develop wings and reproductive organs.

After 5 to 7 days the adult will emerge from the cocoon and begin to mate. Adult lacewings have chewing mouthparts, are about 18-19 mm long, and feed mostly on nectar and pollen. They can survive for about 5 to 6 weeks.

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