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iLabs: A fierce predator

June 28, 2012

Snow in June?  Bob, the lab coordinator, brought in this pine tree branch today so we could take a look at it through our new Microeye microscope.  While it may look like Christmas came early this year, it is actually waxy “goo”  made by the wooly pine scale (Pseudophilippia quaintancii) for protection. These scales are homopterans.

Snow? In June?

While examining the wooly pine scale, Colin found a lacewing larva. The lacewing larva is a fierce predator of the insect world. Eating aphids and other soft bodied insects that it can fit its mandibles around, it consumes over 200 pests or eggs in a week. Because they feed on both pests and their eggs, they often play an important role in pest management. Check out these pictures from our scope!

Colin (lab co-coordinator) finding the culprit using our new scope.

Wooly pine scale or homopterans with their protection.

The lacewing larva viewed from our new Microeye microscope.

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