Back in September 2021, after a little leaf-turning produced examples of eggs and larva, I blogged about The lacewing lifecycle. But that was one of the green lacewing species, so I didn’t initially connect the tiny larvae shown in the photos below with lacewings – in fact, I thought they were leafhopper larvae but, despite a good search through the images on the British Bugs website and other online image resources, I wasn’t able to distinguish which species. So, as I often do, I posted images on Twitter and asked for help (I’m going to miss that place if/when it finally dies!).
Turns out, the little critters are the larvae of the Dustywing or Waxy lacewing, one of the Coniopterygidae species. Trouble is, around 460 species have so far been identified and the only way to really nail them down is to examine their genitals under a microscope. I am happy to remain ignorant and let these little creatures live their lives, though I am pleased I can now, at least, recognise them as lacewing.