Readers’ wildlife photographs

Tony Eales from Queensland sent some nice insect photos from the order Neuroptera (lacewings, antlions, and similar creatures). His notes are indented:

Neuroptera are a great group to photograph and have lots of interesting members. I’m still after some of the more spectacular species but here’s a few interesting ones I have photographed.

A large species from a family known as Antlions (Family Myrmeleontidae) known for their pit traps in fine sand and dust. The larvae are heavy and ferocious looking.

An adult “antlion”:

Blue Eyed Lacewings (Nymphes myrmeleonides) are surprisingly large and when flying can be mistaken for large damselflies.

JAC: Here’s the unusual egg case produced by individuals in this group (photo from the Australian Museum):

Brown lacewings (Family Hemerobiidae) are small and have rather hard wings compared to other lacewings.

Green lacewings (Family Chrysopidae) are the most common around here and are very pretty. The larvae get around covered in a camouflage of debris including the corpses of their prey.

One of my absolute favourite photographic subjects are the Mantid lacewings (Family Mantispidae). Discovering they existed they seemed as shocking to me as the platypus must have seemed to 19th century biologists.

Finally a small delicate lacewing that seems similar to me to the green lacewings but I have no idea about the family.


  1. Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Very lovely pictures – many thanks for sharing.

  2. busterggi
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Lacewings always seemed like living jewelry to me w/ their golden eyes & bright green bodies.

  3. Gnu Atheist
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    So, didn’t Khan put one of those larvae in Chekov’s ear?


  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Why a horseshoe-shaped egg case?
    Are the filaments radiating outwards a support structure & what are they made of? Silk?

  5. Herb Hunter
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It was many years before I heard the term, antlion. Growing up, I knew those creatures as doodlebugs. In retrospect, the latter is still a more appealing term.

  6. Posted May 17, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Very good! And wow, this touches several buttons for me. It is interesting how there are little differences among species from different areas. For example, our green lacewing larvae do not decorate themselves like yours does, at least not that I have seen.
    If you possibly can, I very much recommend trying to get an extreme close-up of an antlion larva. Perhaps a diopter attachment on your lens will get you there. The reason is that every square micro-meter of them is spiny, cruel, and lethal looking. A candidate for the ugliest insect in the world. They are also fun to raise in little cups of sand, and their pupa (inside a cocoon) is also really cool.

  7. Posted May 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Mick E Talbot Poems.

  8. Posted May 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice. I had a captive mantis-like lacewing for a while when I was a teenager. Fed it little green flies, caught from the same bush I found the lacewing on. Then (I think – it was a long time ago) I let it go.

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