I was looking for something to put in our Bug Magnifier because an item on the Clickinmoms Scavenger Hunt list is “someone using a magnifying glass.” I was hoping to find two other items on the list — a ladybug and a caterpillar — but had no luck. I did find a tiny beetle-like black bug that I was beginning to think I’d have to settle for. Then a tiny bit of fluff wiggling around on a leaf caught my eye. And then I realized it was not being blown by a breeze; it was crawling! I shook it into the bug magnifier.
In the magnifier I was able to see its underside as it crawled around. It has a lot of legs, so it’s not an insect. With it’s fluffy cover, it reminded me of the crabs I saw 18 years ago at the Monterey Aquarium. Those crabs will use anything in their environment, even yarn, to build themselves a wearable shelter.
I’ve never seen or heard of this little creature I found today though. I took pictures of course. Does anybody out there have an idea?
Edited: A friend has suggested the wooly aphid or the lacewing larva, which has been known to gather fluff on its back. The lacewing fluff does look more like it, and I’m starting to doubt I saw more than 6 legs.
You can see Caroline was a bit creeped out. She hates bugs.
The next photo gives you size perspective. See the tiny bit of white fluff in front of Caroline’s nose?
Here’s a view through the magnifying glass, and the best shot I got of its fluff.
Here it is crawling around on the wall inside the magnifier.
Finally, here’s a cropped, close-up from the previous photo, severely sharpened, showing its underside. Its legs are so thin they don’t show up well with my camera lens.