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Absolutely, definitely a June bug

June 7, 2016


Time was, if you wanted an unfamiliar insect identified you took it to a university or a school and bugged an etymologist, or a biology instructor. Lesser authorities (your friend Francine, for example) were understood to be guessing.

It was the same with medical diagnoses. Some things were better left to the experts.

Not anymore. The Internet has democratized or, at least, distributed expertise. Now sick people turn to web-based “symptom checkers” to self-diagnose what ails them before they see a doctor. (“Well doc, WebMD says I have rickets and my Vistula is very badly inflamed!”)

Probably some sort of “lacewing”


In the same Internet-driven spirit of self-serve certainty, it’s my opinion that the insect I saw loitering on a street-side steel utility pole today (June 7) was most likely a common green lacewing.

At least that’s the bug that cane up in a Google image search for “tiny,green, slightly translucent, six-legged, flying insect with little bug-eyes” that most resembled the one that I saw today.

According to the Wikipedia entry, green lacewings are insects of the large Chrysopidae family of some 2,000 species. They belong to the even larger Neuroptera order of net-winged insects.


Lacewings are the enemy of aphids and other garden pests. Their species are so similar that it’s apparently not worth trying to tell them apart and as they are the most commonly-seen kind of net-winged insect, it’s acceptable common practice to refer to any net-winged insect as some sort of “lacewing”.

It’s nice of science to meet me halfway on this one.

Thanks science. Thanks Internet. Click the images to enlarge them.

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