Friday, September 18, 2009

Check out this beautiful mould!

 Check out this beautiful mould!
STOMPer Whye Kok saw this beautiful mould growing on a fence at Ubi.

In an email to STOMP today (Sept 18), the STOMPer says:

"I saw this by accident on Sept 15 in the afternoon.

"This is a fence surrounding a building located at 51 Ubi Avenue 3 and I saw some beautiful mould growing on it."

 Check out this beautiful mould!
 Check out this beautiful mould!

That isn't mould, but is actually a clump of eggs laid by an insect known as a lacewing.

Lacewings are delicate-looking insects that belong to the family Chrysopidae, which in turn belong to the insect order known as Neuroptera.

(Photo by macropoulos)

As adults, many species subsist chiefly on nectar and pollen.

Their eggs are laid singly or in small clumps, with each egg sitting at the tip of a stalk.

(Photo by Tapperboy)

The larvae look and behave quite differently from the adults.

(Photo by Lord V)

True to their fearsome appearance, and unlike the adults, lacewing larvae are voracious predators. Each hapless victim is seized in those massive jaws before a paralysing venom is injected. Subsequently, the prey is then sucked dry. Aphids, beetle larvae, mites, small caterpillars, and other small arthropods are all fair game. In the absence of suitable prey, the young lacewings will simply turn into cannibals. Some lacewing species are employed as a form of biological control, and are used in farms and gardens in many parts of the world to keep pest numbers low.