Diane, a frequent visitor to Raincatchers Garden, saw a little bit of debris on a leaf. To her surprise it began to move purposefully. She learned that the debris was called a junk bug. It covers itself with the bodies of insects it has preyed upon. This creates a convincing camouflage that fools birds and the ants that tend aphids. Aphids are a frequent snack.
The junk bug is a larva that becomes a green lacewing, a beautiful insect with delicately veined gossamer wings.Per Diane, “I almost missed it till it started moving, and this is my very first one to ever see, or even hear of.”
Thanks, Diane, for your close observation. It’s great to know we have an insect ally to help us keep the aphids in check.
P.S. The eggs on a stalk shown in the picture above are also part of the lifecycle of this beneficial insect.
Beverly Allen, Dallas County Master Gardener Class of 2018
PIctures by Diane, a friend of The Raincatcher’s Garden