Beneficial Insects & more...
[Bladder Cicada] [Blue Banded Bee] [Centipede] [Dragonfly] [Ichneumon wasp]  [Lacewing] [Pointed-nose grasshopper] [Rhinoceros-beetle] [Scorpion]  [Scorpion Fly]  [Stick Insect] [Tachnid-fly]
Blue banded bee (Amegilla)Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla)

Bladder CicadaCicada
These conspicuous insects are cicadas. They are big and noisy and most likely to be seen and heard over the summer months. Females lay eggs within tree bark. Young insects, which look like miniature versions of the adults, drop to the ground below and burrow into the soil to suck liquid from plant roots. After eating their fill over winter they climb a nearby tree to shed their skin. These are the perfectly formed insect shells you find attached to tree trunks. The ear-piercing sound made by male cicadas is designed to attract a mate and repel predators.

Pointed nose grasshopper


LacewingLacewing eggsLacewing
The green lacewing is the most common lacewing seen by gardeners. It is a highly beneficial insect and should not be confused with the lacebug that sucks the sap from azaleas.

Adult lacewings are attracted to lights and white surfaces. You may have seen its distinctive egg clusters, with each ting white egg hanging from a single filamentous thread. Its lays its eggs in this way to ensure they are out of reach of predators. Most species of lacewings and their larvae are carnivorous, feeding on other insects including scale, aphids, spiders and wasps. Some species of lacewings are mass reared for use as commercial biological control agents in orchards and organic gardens.

Rhinoceros beetle


If you have logs or wood-based mulch in the garden you might be lucky enough to come across one of these amazing scorpions. They are beneficial insects that feed on spiders, beetles and cockroaches and are an indication of a healthy soil ecosystem. They are nocturnal hunters with poor eyesight, but an excellent ability to detect vibration.

Scorpions are not insects, but arachnids just like spiders. Count their legs and you will see that they possess eight legs like spiders rather than six like an insect. The scorpions sting is in its tail. If provoked it can give a painful bite but is not considered dangerous. Never-the-less, it is probably a good reason to wear gloves when working in the garden.

Scorpion FlyScorpion Fly
The presence of scorpion flies can be an indicator of a healthy, balanced garden ecosystem. This predatory insect eats flies, moths and beetles. It sits still and silent while it waits for its prey, then deftly grasps them with its rear legs before literally eating them alive! After mating, female scorpion flies lay eggs in the soil or leaf litter. The larvae feed on organic matter and return to pupate in the ground before emerging as adult flies.

Tachnid fly on roses


Ichneumon waspIchneumon wasp
Stick insectStick insectStick Insect

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