First Junk Bug of the Season

I had not seen any Junk Bugs in our gardens so far this year until now. Some call them garbage bugs, or even trash bugs. We noticed this one working it’s way around the plants when were checking our gardens. It is actually a lacewing larva or sometimes they just get called a “junk bug” because of the junk it carries around on its back for disguise. The junk bug is actually a killer. The heap is often made up of dead bodies from the prey it eats. The junk bug, also known as an aphid lion, is a voracious predator, common around the world. The bug is actually the larval stage of the green lacewing, a delicate and lovely flying insect. The tiny larvae comes up with all sorts of creative disguises to confuse predators. I have seen these in other gardens, but never tried to find out what they were until a couple of years ago. But they do make interesting photo subjects!

Junk Bug, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm Lens, Digital Zoom 197 percent to 52mm (35mm format equivalent)
Junk Bug, iP11 Pro, 4.3mm Lens, Digital Zoom 276 percent to 72mm (35mm format equivalent)
At First you think it is just debris, But then you see it moving around! (Sorry for the non-steady video but it was windy)

12 Comments on “First Junk Bug of the Season

  1. A fun subject, indeed! One of my most popular posts from many years ago was of one of these that had stuck white fluff all over it. I was surprised when that fluff moved and I saw it had legs!

    • It is an interesting subject and fun to photograph! The first time I saw one we were working in the garden and noticed it was on a different plant after I first noticed it! Then I saw it move! Then what is this! Never knew it existed before that!

  2. I’ve not seen your junk bug lacewing larva but I have seen Emerald Moth larvae-Synchlora aerata that cover themselves with bits of debris.Just the opposite of your carnivorous lacewing arva, they are trying to not be eaten. Nice iPhone study of these, Reed.

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