Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   decorator insect on bark (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/bug-us-help-identifying-bugs/11150-decorator-insect-bark.html)

turttle 12-04-2012 11:07 PM

decorator insect on bark
 
2 Attachment(s)
Okay. I have decorator caterpillars and I have seen decorator crabs, but these guys take the cake. I swear they have legs and will crawl on my hand, but I can't see any real detail under all of the moss. Suunto, any ideas on what kind of insect they could be under all the moss/lichen they are covered in? There were three of them on the sap leak of my chestnut oak, on a warm day a few days ago (Dec). Size is a little under a centimeter.

Equilibrium 12-05-2012 12:24 AM

Could you maybe add more photos that could be clicked on and made a little bit bigger if you have them?

Sage 12-05-2012 09:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I sent this one in from Florida last year, I know suunto ID'd it
Attachment 34188

We could have a thread for decorator bugs!

turttle 12-05-2012 12:44 PM

sage, yours looks like the same kind as mine. I like the idea of a thread for decorator bugs. Are there enough different kinds for a thread? I know caddis fly larva decorate themselves.

'Lib, unfortunately, those two are the best I got. The critters fell into the leaf litter when I tried to get my camera closer for a good macro. They looked like little moss balls - other than legs, I couldn't see any insect parts at all!

suunto 12-05-2012 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turttle (Post 124902)
Okay. I have decorator caterpillars and I have seen decorator crabs, but these guys take the cake. I swear they have legs and will crawl on my hand, but I can't see any real detail under all of the moss. Suunto, any ideas on what kind of insect they could be under all the moss/lichen they are covered in? There were three of them on the sap leak of my chestnut oak, on a warm day a few days ago (Dec). Size is a little under a centimeter.

If these are the same as what Sage had earlier, they would be larvae of lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae) known as 'trash bugs' - see Green Lacewing larva - With adorned debris | Flickr - Photo Sharing! for an example.

turttle 12-05-2012 01:23 PM

Thanks, suunto! I don't know what they are eating, this late in the season, but that looks like what they are. It says they over winter as pupae, which makes sense. I am glad I have them - voracious aphid predators. Yay!

Sage 12-05-2012 05:57 PM

I found mine on the railing along a boardwalk trail in south Florida. Wondering, if you see one or two, shouldn't there be many more not to far away?

suunto 12-06-2012 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sage (Post 124939)
Wondering, if you see one or two, shouldn't there be many more not to far away?

I would think that this would depend somewhat on prey density - many predatory insects such these tend to be non-discriminatory in meal selection, and if there is a scarcity of prey, may dine on each other...

turttle 12-06-2012 08:51 AM

Kind of like baby mantises? Or baby toads? I know toads do, since I had a bunch in a tank once, raised from tadpoles and ended up with a few very large happy ones from a bunch of tiny ones. There are advantages to being the first to emerge!

Suunto, are there enough decorator insects to be worth starting a thread about them?

suunto 12-07-2012 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turttle (Post 124960)
Suunto, are there enough decorator insects to be worth starting a thread about them?

Good question, Turttle - I must admit that this is a subject that I have not researched thoroughly. Perhaps if you included those that naturally are cryptically configured?

turttle 12-13-2012 10:08 PM

I think I will start one, but not until after the holidays when I have the mental energy to dig out my decorator caterpillar photos, and maybe my multi-colored tobacco bud worms, and I will need to consider what else might qualify. It needs some thought. Caddis fly larva are cool, and would qualify, but I am not sure the photos I have of them are digital, it has been years since I took them.

Cocoons would probably qualify, they are often designed using natural items to help in their camouflage.

Sage 12-13-2012 10:30 PM

Great idea, turttle! A thread for those really special bugs!

havalotta 03-27-2013 10:10 AM

1 Attachment(s)
How about decorator UNDER a beach finding.
Attachment 35811
What do you think created the network? Worms?

turttle 04-21-2013 10:37 PM

Very cool find, Hava. Tell me more about it. What is the consistency of the black part - is it stone? rubbery? man-made or natural, or can you tell? The only rings I know that you find on the beach that are natural are moon snail egg cases and they don't look like that. Where did you find it?

The etched patterns look like they could be from worms, but if it is a rock I would wonder about some kind of chemical process too. Is there a thread somewhere for odd things you find on the beach?

havalotta 04-22-2013 10:31 AM

To the right is a part of a log I had flipped over. To the left, Its impression.
Living in logging country, we get a lot of sawed off ends washing up on the shore....Especially at ice out!

Way back during the lumber days, after the trees were cut down, they whacked the ends of their harvest with a heavy metal mallet that bore their signature and rolled them into the river to float down to the awaiting mills. The marks told them who to pay for the harvest. Scoundrels and cheaters often trimmed just a hair off the end of the logs to re-brand them with one of their own markings for payment.


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