Lacewings

Lacewings

Chrysoperla carnea

Appearance

Lacewings
  • Approximately 12–20mm long.
  • Adults are pale green and have long antennae and bright, golden eyes.
  • They have large, transparent, pale green wings and a delicate body.
  • Oval shaped eggs are laid at the end of long silken stalks. These single eggs start off green and turn grey after a few days.
  • The active larvae are grey or brownish. They are alligator-like with well-developed legs and large pincers with which they suck the body fluids from prey insects such as aphids.
  • Adult lacewings feed on pollen and also need nectar or honeydew as food before laying eggs.

Lifecycle

  • Oval shaped eggs are laid at the end of long silken stalks. These single eggs start off green and turn grey after a few days.
  • The active larvae are grey or brownish. They are alligator–like with well–developed legs and large pincers with which they suck the body fluids from prey insects such as aphids.
  • Adult lacewings feed on pollen and also need nectar or honeydew as food before laying eggs.

Habits

  • Adults are active fliers, particularly during the evening and at night. Their fluttering flight is particularly characteristic for this species.
  • They are considered an important predator of mealybugs in both greenhouses and interior plantscapes. They also feed on (among others) several species of aphids, spider mites (especially red mites), thrips, whiteflies, small caterpillars and beetle larvae.
  • They are often used as a biological integrated insect control program.