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THE "APHID LION" After a few days, the eggs hatch and tiny larvae emerge which are also known as" aphid lions" because of their voracious appetite. The larvae have sickle-shaped jaws (mandibles) with which they pierce prey and suck out body juices. Adults have chewing mouth parts. Adults are poor fliers, active at night and feed on pollen, nectar and honeydew (the exudate of aphids and other sucking insects). Some species are predaceous as adults to a limited extent. The larvae, called "aphid lions", are extremely carnivorous and predaceous on many soft-bodied insects and mites, including insect eggs, thrips, mealybugs, immature whiteflies and small caterpillars. Larvae have sickle-shaped jaws that contain tubes with which they can inject prey with a paralyzing venom and then suck out the body fluids. They can consume over 200 aphids or other prey per week. There is no other better predator known to consume vast quantities of eggs and the soft bodies of aphids, mealy-bugs, spider mites, leafhopper nymphs, caterpillar eggs, scales, thrips, and white-flies. The lacewing larvae attack the eggs of most pests and, if the bodies are not to hard and fast moving, will attack the adult pest stage as well.
Lat: 30.26, Long: -81.43
Spotted on Jul 28, 2013
Submitted on Jul 28, 2013
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