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The bug of the week last week was..drum roll...

A flower fly!

I bet some of you were thinking that it was a honey bee. The flower fly has two wings rather than four. Although you might mot be able to see that the honeybee has four, the fly holds it's wings out away from it's body more. The flies have bigger eyes. The antennae of the flower fly come from the middle of the face and are shorter than that of the honey bee. Once you know to look there are a lot of differences.

Flower flies fool people all the time.

See if you can spot the differences:

Honey Bee versus Flower Fly

honey bee

flowerfly

For a little change of pace this week, we thought we would let you be an insect detective.

mystery insect

Here is our bug of the week. Look closely. This insect has fooled a great many people, including authors of college textbooks. Do you know what it is? Let us know. Next week, we’ll reveal the answer.

Remember the lovely lacewing adult I showed you in Bug of the Week a few months ago? I promised to add a photo of the larva and I finally got one.

lacewing larva

Lacewing larvae are amazing predators that feed on aphids, caterpillars, and even scale insects. Scale insects have a waxy coating that often is pressed tightly to the surface of the plant the insect is feeding on. The lacewing larvae use their forcep-like jaws to pry the scale’s covering up, allowing them to feed on the soft insect underneath.

Some lacewing larvae disguise themselves by covering their backs with plant materials or the bodies of their prey. The University of Kentucky has some good information about lacewings.