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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect with moss on its back


I live in Beaufort, SC near the ocean and was walking outside my house today and saw what appeared to be a small piece of miss moving on a tree that was about the size of a pea.  After I looked at it even closer it kinda winched down and layed flat against the tree and camouflage itself like it was a normal piece of moss.  I thought this was pretty cool because I have never seen this before and can't find anything online about it.  I went back to look at it again a few minutes later and found three more.  I was able to see that it had a very small head that almost resembled the head of an earwig.  I took a video of it, but the website won't let me attach it.  Hopefully you can identify it for me.

You have found some lacewing nymphs.  They attach debris and the carcasses of their dead prey on their backs as camouflage from predators.

For more information, do a search for "lacewing nymph" and see what you get.  They are pretty cool to observe!

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Nathan Riggs


I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you. You may also join my group page on Facebook and post your picture at


22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.

Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter, Master Gardener SCION Newsletter, GardenStyleSA e-Newsletter

BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors
2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

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