What is this Insect and what are the growths/parasites on it?
Found it on a mushroom on Pitch Hill Surrey UK and is about 3 mm long.
I've tried adding two pictures, the insect and the mushroom, but not sure the mushroom has uploaded.
A brief reply would be much appriciated
Thanks
Mark (45yr old bricklayer)

Post's pictures

Copy of Sept2010 035.jpg, 133.77 kb, 917 x 701

Hi,

Ok, well its going to be brief as i can only give a rough identification.

It looks very much like the larvae insect such as lacewings (order Neroptera), which are often called 'ant-lions'. Why?, the larvae often make pits in the ground where they wait at the bottom with huge-jaws open, until other insects like ants accidentally fall in, which they grab and eat. Its different you found it in the open, so im not sure if some species of ant-lions crawl in the open like this.

It appears to have bits of dirt and debris attached to its body, which i suspect helps give it camoflage/disguise its shape (which makes sense if it craws around actively hunting), so are not parts of the insect nor pests, but instead likely 'add on camoflage'. or even added protective armour.

If its not a larvae of a lacewing, then its a predatory beetle larvae, but i dont know any that look like that... anyone else??!!?

No sign of the mushroom pics.., perhaps not needed. :)

Thanks for a great photo, and for giving your location. Useful to us.

Definitely a lacewing rather than an Ant-lion. In UK there is only 1 species of Ant-lion (Euroleaon nostras) which is confined to the Sandling Heaths of Suffolk, and the larva lives in the sand.

The gubbins on the outside is local debris (which can include faecal material), and is used for camouflage

.. it seems they stick the dead bodies of aphid victims to themselves also..

and sorry, an american stage of my education leads me to call larvae of all lacewings as antlions. (whether or not they make sandy pits for insects to fall into). Seems indeed that Euroleon nostras is the only UK species where the larvae do this...

anyway, we agree its a lacewing larvae!