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Owlfly Larva



These are dragonfly-like insects that have large bulging eyes and strongly knobbed antennae. They are neuropterans in the family Ascalaphidae; they are only distantly related to the true flies, and even more distant from the dragonflies and damselflies. They are diurnal or crepuscular predators of other flying insects, and are typically 5 cm (2.0 in) long. The Owlfly larvae are predatory, and lie on the ground or in vegetation, covered with debris, waiting for prey. Larvae resemble those of antlions, but have a "finger-like appendage" on the side of each segment. Some genera actively cement sand and debris onto their bodies as camouflage.


Subtropical mountainous area, dense brush and trees.


Ordinarily I wouldn't post images that I am not satisfied with in terms of my focus, depth of field, etc. However, even though I'm not happy with how the pics turned out, I just had to share. It was so well camouflaged that at first I only saw the caterpillar and was wondering why it looked weird. I bent down and only noticed that this creature had practically severed the caterpillar in two!

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Wesley Oosthuizen
Wesley Oosthuizen 8 years ago

Thank you!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 8 years ago

Creepy but great spotting and notes!

The MnMs
The MnMs 8 years ago

What a disguise!

Wesley Oosthuizen
Spotted by
Wesley Oosthuizen

新北市, Taiwan

Spotted on Oct 25, 2015
Submitted on Oct 26, 2015

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