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Thread-legged bug

Stenolemus bituberus

Description:

A species of thread-legged insect (Emesinae) found across much of Australia. This species spends nearly its entire life (moulting, feeding, mating) in spider webs. It preys upon a variety of spiders, including webs and nests of spiders of Achaearanea, Badumna, Pholcus, and Stiphidion, and the families Salticidae and Uloboridae. This species is found in a broader diversity of spider webs than any other species in Stenolemus.

Habitat:

Dry sclerophyll bushland.

Notes:

Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/c...

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4 Comments

StephenSolomons
StephenSolomons 8 years ago

I can see why you thought it was a mantid lacewing. Great series

Latimeria
Latimeria 10 years ago

That's wild! I can see why you'd think it was a mantis fly at first, the way it's holding its front legs is so similar.

lori.tas
lori.tas 10 years ago

Thanks, cehrzog. Although I found it nearly impossible to photograph, because it was so small and spindly. And to make matters more difficult, even when not walking it swayed a little, and when it did walk it had this strange herky-jerky movement.

I actually thought it might be a manis fly (Campion sp.) when I first saw it. But it's just another one of the seemingly endless variations in true bugs (Hemiptera).

ceherzog
ceherzog 10 years ago

very interesting and nice shots

lori.tas
Spotted by
lori.tas

Tasmania, Australia

Spotted on Jun 15, 2011
Submitted on Jun 15, 2011

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