Bitten by a Walking Trash Collector

30 December 2010
I’ve seen bugs that collect junk or trash and stick them on their backs for protection or camouflage. But IMO it just gives their locations away! Today I had a chance to go up close with one such bug, a bit too close in fact. ūüôĀ

I was rummaging through some leaves, trying to glimpse underneath for some interesting bugs, and found this walking bulk of trash walking towards my thumb. Looked just like a ball of trash and seemed pretty harmless, so I didn’t flick it away and had a close look instead. Turned out that this fella had a really vicious face and deals a stinging bite — it sunk it’s mandibles into my thumb once it got there…

This is the larva (note that larvae is the plural of larva) of the Green Lacewing (Neuroptera Chrysopidae). Has 6 eyes on each side and extremely long piercing mandibles.

Lacewing larva (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1211#1 The first bite sunk in, it was painful but since it was already there, I had to take a shot of it first!

Lacewing larva (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1229#2 Side view of the bizarre creature, carrying trash many times it’s size. Locally this might even be called the Karang Guni bug.. lol

Lacewing larva (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1234#3 Another look at the face of the fierce creature

Lacewing larva (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1248#4 Sinking in again!

Lacewing larva (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1219#5 Checking out the hairy details of this little bugger. Carries dead leaves, twigs, and even an egg shell?

Lacewing eggs (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1126#6 After a bit of research, found that these are the eggs of the Green Lacewing. Many probably have seen these before but had no idea what they were.

Ok had enough of this guy and put him back to where it was crawling from. Many asked if I would turn into some mutant after getting bitten by this bizarre looking thing… YOU’RE WATCHING TOO MANY SUPER HERO FLICKS!! LOL. Worst thing that can happen is… I become a Karang Guni Man Superhero?

The complete album can be viewed here.
  1. Reply


    1 January 2011

    wow u r gd! can tahan first bite and take pic, then tahan 2nd bite again! haha…

  2. Reply

    James K

    1 January 2011

    Amazing! I used to think that all these lumps were just bagworms, never knew they could be more interesting things.

  3. Reply

    Nicky Bay

    1 January 2011

    TisuGirl: Thanks! It just sunk the mandibles in and stayed there, walk abit, and huntum again!

    James: Bagworms tend to be neater in their trash I think, very nicely "tiled" sticks on their bodies, unlike this messy fella.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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