I think this insect is the most beautiful I have ever come across here. This fella had one antennae missing, and was a little disorientated, but gave me the chance to take some pics and share his beauty with you all.
Ascalaphus labelloid longicornis is more commonly known as an owl fly. Owlflies are dragonfly-like insects with large bulging eyes and long knobbed antennae. They are not true flies, but rather neuropterans in the family Ascalaphidae, and as such are not closely related to the true flies at all; to the dragonflies and damselflies, they are even more distantly related.
Adult owlflies are aerial predators feeding on other insects. When disturbed, some owlflies will release a strong, musk-like, chemical to deter an enemy. . During the day, such adults rest on stems and twigs with the body, legs, and antennae pressed to the stem. The abdomen in a few species is held up, projecting into the air, to look like a broken twig. Most owlflies average about 2 inches in length. Adult Ascalaphinae such as Ululodes have large divided eyes, which is where the common name ‘Owlfly’ came from.
Eggs are laid on twigs or under stones. Larvae are predatory, and lie on the ground or in vegetation, covered with debris, waiting for prey. Larvae resemble those of ant-lions, but have a ‘finger-like appendage’ on the side of each segment. Some genera actively cement sand and debris onto their bodies as camouflage. Pupation occurs in a spheroidal silk cocoon in leaf litter.
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