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Odd Fashion: The Lacewing Larva

I spent a great day in Terres Basses/The Lowlands yesterday and saw quite a few interesting critters. Pictured below is a lacewing larva, which hunts insects and other invertebrates, then attaches their empty exoskeletons to its back for camouflage. Lacewings and their larvae are often considered beneficial insects because they eat other insects that are considered agricultural pests. Their fashion sense, however, is a bit morbid.

Being in Terres Basses also made me wonder if that part of the island had any impact on the evolution of wildlife on the island. During the last ice age, when sea levels were lower, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barts were connected. This period ended around 12,000 years ago, and during at least some of the intervening time Terres Basses was a separate island, which was gradually connected to the rest of St. Martin by sand bars in Sandy Ground and Simpson Bay. Was there enough time and distance between the two islands to develop distinct animal populations before they were reconnected?


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