Green Lacewings

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HPIPM Home > Woody Ornamentals > Miscellaneous > Biological Controls of Insects Associated with Trees and Shrubs >Green Lacewings
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Chrysopidae
Genus: Chrysoperla
Species: C. spp.
Scientific Name
Chrysoperla spp.
Steinmann 1964
Common Names

green lacewings

Compiled by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University:

Green Lacewings

Neuroptera: Chrysopidae

Several species of green lacewings commonly are found on trees and shrubs. The adult stage is a pale green insect with large, clear, highly-veined wings that are held over the body when at rest. They are delicate and very attractive insects that primarily feed on nectar. The females lay a distinctive stalked egg, approximately one half inch in height. They may be laid in small groups or singly on leaves of plants throughout the yard.

Lacewing larvae emerge from the egg in about a week. These larvae, sometimes called aphid lions, are voracious predators capable of feeding on small caterpillars and beetles as well as aphids and other insects. In general shape and size, lacewing larvae are superficially similar to lady beetle larvae. However, immature lacewings usually are light brown and have a large pair of viciously hooked jaws projecting from the front of the head. Whereas lady beetles often are limited to smaller insects such as aphids, the green lacewings are capable hunters that can easily kill insects larger than themselves. Several generations of lacewings occur during the summer, and a green-brown cold tolerant species can be found late into fall.

Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
Green lacewing eggs.
View in Bugwood Image Database
Green lacewing eggs.
Photo by Bradley Higbee, Paramount Farming,
Green lacewing larvae.
View in Bugwood Image Database
Green lacewing larvae.
Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,
Green lacewing cocoon.
View in Bugwood Image Database
Green lacewing cocoon.

The information herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and that listing of commercial products, necessary to this guide, implies no endorsement by the authors or the Extension Services of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana. Criticism of products or equipment not listed is neither implied nor intended. Due to constantly changing labels, laws and regulations, the Extension Services can assume no liability for the suggested use of chemicals contained herein. Pesticides must be applied legally complying with all label directions and precautions on the pesticide container and any supplemental labeling and rules of state and federal pesticide regulatory agencies. State rules and regulations and special pesticide use allowances may vary from state to state: contact your State Department of Agriculture for the rules, regulations and allowances applicable in your state and locality.

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