So... What's a Green Lacewing?
Adult green lacewings are small, soft-bodied insects that are light green in color. As an adult insect, this beneficial predator has antennae, big eyes, six legs, and lace-like wings. It resembles a dragonfly and is often mistaken for one.
Green lacewing larvae look like tiny caterpillars. They are "aphid lions" and are the beneficial stage of the green lacewing.
Eggs are whitish in color and found at the tips of thin vegetation. When adult lacewings lay their eggs, they must lay them on separate strands of thin stalks. As the larvae emerge, they must stay separated from each other or they will end up eating each other! Although they may try to devour each other, they do not sting or bite people.
Prey of the Green Lacewing
Lacewing larvae prey on aphids, leafhoppers, mites, psyllids, thrips, whiteflies and the eggs of insects. The larvae have huge appetites and will suck the juices of just about any prey they encounter. This is true of both green and brown lacewings.
Green Lacewing's Habitat
Green lacewings are found throughout the United States. Adults lacewings feed on nectar and pollen from plants so they may be found in flower gardens, vegetable gardens and agricultural fields.
Green lacewings can even be purchased from commercial growers and are often released by farmers and gardeners for natural control of aphids, leafhoppers, mites, psyllids, thrips, whiteflies and other destructive pests.
Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
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