Green Lacewings

Family Chrysopidae

As the common name implies, Green Lacewings are almost always green; their wings are clear with a network of darker lines (these lines are often green, too). Eyes are typically reddish, sometimes golden. The family is famed as aphid-eaters, and garden supply houses offer live Green Lacewings for aphid control. Some Green Lacewings, however, feed on flowers.

Look for Chrysopidae in meadows, near bodies of water, or at lights.

Green Lacewings are found on all continents except Antarctica, and on all major island groups, except that New Zealand apparently lacks any indigenous species.

Many of the Chrysopids have interesting life history, some associated with ant nests, others that stridulate to communicate with other members of their species. Members of genus Chrysoperla communicate with their conspecifics "by substrate-borne vibrational signals produced by vigorous abdominal jerking" (Arnett, 2000). Chrysoperla lacewings are also among the most important in aphid control in agriculture and horticulture.

Eggs are laid at the tops of filamentous stalks, making them difficult for predators to eat. The larvae have sickle-shaped mandibles, and some are noteworthy for carrying "trash" on their backs (the husks of bodies of their prey, their own cast-off exuvia, etc.). Pupation takes place in silken cocoons that have been described as "pea-shaped."

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Ceraeochrysa cf. cubana
Chrysopa chi
Chrysopa oculata
Leucochrysa insularis
Plesiochrysa brasiliensis