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Green Lacewings: Active Pest Controllers

Lady Beetles and Praying Mantises are well known to be excellent pest controllers, but there are other insects that are equally beneficial, including Green Lacewings. These distinctive green insects with golden eyes and lacy wings feed mostly on nectar, pollen and honeydew (a sweet liquid excreted by aphids). However, in their larval stage (when they resemble miniature brown and white alligators) they are referred to as “aphid lions” due to their voracious appetite for aphids and other soft-bodied insects.

Lacewing eggs are as distinctive as the larval and adult stages. Each is perched on the tip of a hairlike stalk that is about ½-inch long.  Entomologists believe this helps reduce cannibalism of the eggs by sibling larvae. 

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4 responses

  1. Alice

    Haven’t seen any of those beauties here…I could do without aphids…there were some red ones on a small sunflower type flower. I wiped them away. A few years ago soooo many aphids, decimated those flowers…multiple sprayings with soapy water didn’t help a huge ‘patch.’ They’ve regrown. I think that’s a very interesting theory about why the eggs are on a stalk. Happy news…my son saw a Monarch, yesterday. I found 4 freshly laid eggs. The nursery is started.

    July 15, 2022 at 9:28 am

  2. Well that is fascinating! We have lots and lots of these in Franklin, MA. We also have lots and lots of green tree crickets! They look similar and do similar!

    https://www.weathergamut.com/2011/09/28/cricket-as-thermometer/

    July 15, 2022 at 9:37 am

  3. Susan Holland

    Wow! Their larvae are the bugs that I have been trying to identify! Thank you for mentioning they look like miniature alligators….which is a perfect description!

    July 15, 2022 at 11:40 am

    • What you have may be lady beetle larvae? I haven’t any photographs but you can google green lacewing larva image!

      July 15, 2022 at 11:55 am

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