Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

And an unexpected green on the unexpected red

with 34 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

On one of the discolored evergreen sumacs, Rhus virens, that you saw yesterday, I was lucky to get a picture of a lacewing that stayed put only briefly. The combination of vivid light green and duller dark red is an uncommon yet pleasant one, don’t you think?

As with the last few pictures, the date was January 23 and the location was a bluff above Loop 360 near Bluffstone Dr. in northwest Austin.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 3, 2013 at 6:16 AM

34 Responses

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  1. Enjoyed the lacewing picture. Have you ever found their eggs? They’re amazing.

    naturesnippets

    February 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    • Your question prompted me to find photographs showing what lacewing eggs look like. From those I can say enthusiastically that I have seen them but didn’t know what kind of insect they were from. Now I do, thanks to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

      • You’re welcome. They are amazing. I don’t see how they’re “made.” I found one last summer and blogged it. The evening sun highlighted it.

        naturesnippets

        February 3, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        • I also now know that “the adults and larvae feed on small insects, especially aphids and nymphs of scale insects,” thanks to your post.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM

          • Now that you want to find their eggs, they’ll be difficult to find.

            naturesnippets

            February 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

            • Let’s hope for the best there. Even if I don’t see any soon, I may come across a photo of some in my archives. In fact I recently did, but I can’t remember what picture it was.

              Steve Schwartzman

              February 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM

  2. So delicate and perfect. Amazing.

    mrsdaffodil

    February 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM

  3. I’ve always loved the lacewings, but I’ve never seen their eggs. I may simply have overlooked them. Now, I’ll pay more attention. There was a suggestive phrase on one photo I found – “the stalks help to protect the eggs from predation and cannibalism”. Oops! So much for “pretty and demure”!

    shoreacres

    February 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    • I’ll bet you do see some lacewing eggs now that you’re aware of them. And if you’re really lucky, you may see some predation or cannibalism, too—demure predation and cannibalism, of course.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM

  4. Wow! amazing shot. Lacewings are so delicate.. and so tiny. Thanks for sharing Steve

    chatou11

    February 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

  5. What a beautiful creature!

    afrenchgarden

    February 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM

  6. Beautiful pic. Excellent contrast of the subjects.

    petspeopleandlife

    February 3, 2013 at 3:16 PM

  7. Great pic, Steve. One of those things you just can’t plan.

    Deborah Lee

    February 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    • You’re right that I couldn’t plan for it, but I’ve found that if I put myself out there often enough, then from time to time good things come my way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

  8. wow

    sedge808

    February 3, 2013 at 9:27 PM

  9. What a beautiful interplay of colours. The lacewing is well named, with its transparent wings photographed in such clarity.

    Mary Mageau

    February 4, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    • Lacewing is a good name, so descriptive. I wonder what our linguistic predecessors in ancient times, before there was lace, called this insect.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      • Perhaps the word lace came before the lace material?

        Gallivanta

        July 19, 2014 at 6:16 AM

        • I did a brief look online and didn’t turn up references to lace earlier than the 1500s. Our word lace goes back to Latin laqueus, but in Roman times the word meant ‘noose’. It seems that people “repurposed” the word as a name for the new type of woven things.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 19, 2014 at 7:44 AM

  10. Pleasant? No, I would say spectacular. And all the more remarkable coming from a language poet (is there anything you can’t do?).

    Susan Scheid

    February 4, 2013 at 8:44 PM

  11. Very pretty shot!

    montucky

    February 5, 2013 at 8:52 PM

  12. […] on Misting Falls Trail in my neighborhood on November 13th. In a post early this year you saw a different insect on a differently colored evergreen sumac leaf, and this past spring you saw a group of Leptoglossus phyllopus bugs on a decomposing […]

  13. […] Here’s a closer look at Polytaenia nuttallii, called prairie parsley, on a piece of the Blackland Prairie east of Interstate 35 in far north Austin on June 27th. In addition to all these seeds at the ends of umbelliferous stalks you get the pale ovoid insect egg on a threadlike stalk of its own at the top. I can’t identify the insect that produced the egg, but one group of insects whose members attach eggs on hairlike stalks like that is green lacewings. […]

  14. Beautiful lacewing but stinky too?

    Gallivanta

    July 19, 2014 at 6:16 AM

    • I didn’t handle this lacewing, so I can’t confirm—fortunately—what the article says about a vile smell.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 19, 2014 at 7:47 AM


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