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Common enquiries during summer

Found in urban areas

As the weather warms after the spring rains the conditions are perfect for many animals to make appearances in your backyard or garden.

Here are some of the most common enquiries we respond to during these months.


Lacewings belong to an ancient order of insects, Neuroptera. Members of this order are diverse in behaviour and appearance, with wingless larvae that are very different from their delicately-winged adult forms.

Lacewings are found in most habitats in Australia. Both adults, eggs and larvae are commonly encountered in urban areas, where the adults are readily attracted to lights.

Most adult lacewings are predators, with a few species feeding on nectar or plant material.

The eggs are commonly laid on stalks, singly or in batches. Some species lay their eggs directly into sand or on vegetation, clotheslines and door frames. The eggs often have a distinctive pattern.

The larvae are found on vegetation or in sandy soil in sheltered areas, such as around the bases of trees. They are mostly predacious, feeding on other invertebrates that they encounter. Some feed on decaying vegetable material, fresh water sponges or parasitise spiders or wasps.

For more information about lacewings visit our animal fact sheets on insects.

Centipedes and Millipedes

The diversity of centipedes and millipedes in Sydney is greatest in forest areas. Damp leaf litter, soil and the underside of rocks and logs are their preferred habitats. We find them under garden chair pillows and in compost heaps. They sometimes enter houses, especially after heavy rains have disturbed them from the garden.

Centipedes and millipedes are myriapods, meaning 'many pairs of legs'. They are all terrestrial and have a segmented body, one pair of antennae and breathing holes called spiracles.

Centipedes and millipedes differ in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Centipedes have one pair of legs per segment; millipedes have two per segment.
  • Centipedes have the first pair of legs behind the head modified into a pair of fangs containing a poison gland; millipedes do not.
  • Centipedes are carnivores; millipedes are herbivores or detritivores (feed on decaying vegetation).
  • Many centipedes guard their eggs and young by curling around them, while millipedes protect their eggs from predators in a nest of hard soil. Only a few millipede species are known to brood their eggs.

For more information on Centipede and millipede species visit our animal fact sheet on Myriapods