A Twofer please #581208 - Ask Extension


A Twofer please #581208

Asked July 18, 2019, 7:59 AM EDT

Can you identify this egg mass, and the lichen-covered insect in photos? Both spotted this morning on trunk of a silver maple. I have video of latter moving but couldn’t upload it.  Is it a lacewing larva?

Baltimore County Maryland

Expert Response

The angled shape of the egg mass is usually more clear, but we think that is the egg mass of the beneficial predator insect called an assassin bug or wheel bug.
Here is a page about them that includes a photo of the eggs:

We can't tell where they are because the disguise is so good, but have been fielding questions and photos about the lacewing larvae carrying around lichens just this week. Ants are a major predator of the lacewing larvae and apparently don't recognize them when so-covered.
Another 'good guy' predator to have in your garden: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lacewings



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