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NC State Extension

Green Lacewing

  • Common Name: Green Lacewing
  • General Category: Predator
  • Taxonomic Classification: Neuroptera: Chrysopidae
  • Scientific Name: Chrysopa spp.

Description

These intriguing insects are important predators of aphids. The adults are not always predacious, and can often be found on flowers feeding on pollen and nectar. The adults often turn up to porch lights at night year-round in the southeast, although in the winter their color appears somewhat faded. The larvae are always predacious and are sometimes referred to as aphid lions.

Green lacewing adult Green lacewing larva Green eggs

Identification

Review the images for tips on how to identify these predators.

Adults

Green-bodied with large transparent net-like wings, long, thin antennae, and coppery-colored eyes.

Larvae

Alligator-like with long, narrow sickle-like jaws.

Eggs

Laid on stalks to avoid predation or cannibalism.

Value in Pest Management

Green lacewings are valuable natural controls that contribute to population regulation of aphids and other small soft-bodied insects. They are widely sold commercially for biological control, and have had equipment specifically developed for their application to various crops and orchards (see BIRC online Directory).

Origin and Distribution

Native, throughout eastern North America.

Discover Life – Chrysopidae

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