It was clearly #Beetle Night here in #Canberra last night. Here's the view from my Automated #Moth Trap just after midnight. There were enormous numbers of the small scarab Phyllotocus macleayi. This shot also includes two, maybe three, different #mantisfly species.
two mantispids/mantisflies: Zeugomantispa minuta (the green one) and probably Leptomantispa pulchella.
despite their appearance, mantispids are not closely related to mantises. Mantispidae is a family within the order Neuroptera (along with lacewings, antlions, owlflies, spoonwings, spongillaflies, and a few handfuls of other weird guys).
as juveniles, they have a specialized diet: they eat spider eggs. this specialization is reflected in their life history, and most mantispids are hypermetamorphic (with three major life stages: a thin&leggy form used to seek and cling to a spider; a short-legged, grub-like, eating form once the animal is safely within a spider's eggsac; and finally the mantis/lacewing chimera seen here). adults have a less picky diet, so those raptorial forelimbs do not go to waste.
Aphid predators seen lately:
- Enoplognatha cobweb spider on goldenrod
- Ladybug on goldenrod
- Lacewing larva on chicory
- Whirligig mite on…I don't know what this plant is
A Myrmeleontidae: antlions, from the Neuroptera order of antlions and owlflies. This order of insects of course contains neither ants, nor lions, owls, or flies—a staple in entomology to name unusual insects with compound names drawing from other animals—e.g., snakeflies, sawflies, and more.
The antlion name honors the behaviour of their larvae, which live in ground burrows and trap passing ants with their fearsome mandibles.
Happy to spot this Mantidfly (family Mantispidae) at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park on 6 March 2023. Was lucky to see it through a gap in some leaves that were hiding it from view.
Mantidflies are not mantises or flies. They resemble the preying mantis through convergent evolution.
On iNaturalist [ https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/150392315 ]
"A giant insect plucked from the façade of an Arkansas Walmart has set historic records. The Polystoechotes punctata (giant lacewing) is the first of its kind recorded in eastern North America in over 50 years—and the first record of the species ever in the state."
Two shots from #AutomatedMothTrap, Canberra ACT, 2022-12-12 02:57, 03:41
Image 1 includes:
I saw a flying green speck while walking at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore, on 2 October 2022. When it landed, I saw it was this, a Typical Green Lacewing (subfamily Chrysopinae), the first one I've seen. Lovely looking one too.
On iNaturalist [ https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/137269336 ]