Lacewings (Chrysoperla spp.)

More Info

Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University

Green lacewing eggs. Green lacewing larva. Green lacewing adult.

Green lacewing (Chrysoperla spp.) eggs, larva and adult. Egg photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Green lacewing adults are 1/2 inch long and have net-veined wings and golden eyes. They feed on nectar, pollen, and aphid honeydew. Lacewing eggs are suspended at the tips of long, erect stalks. Larvae are alligator-like with curved, piercing mandibles.

Brown lacewing larva. Brown lacewing adult.


Brown lacewing (Micromus spp.) larva (L) and adult. Photos by David Cappaert, Michigan State University,

Brown lacewing adults have reddish-brown bodies with large, membranous wings that have brown markings. Brown lacewings are smaller than green lacewings, measuring less than 1/2 inch long. Female brown lacewings lay several hundred purplish, oval eggs on the underside of leaves. Larvae of brown lacewings appear similar to those of green lacewings; they are gray to brown and alligator-like with large, sickle-shaped mandibles.

Both green and brown lacewings are predators as larvae, feeding on many soft-bodied insects including aphids and whiteflies, and insect eggs. However, only brown lacewings are predatory in the adult stage.

Recommended Resources

Green Lacewings, Texas A&M University

Beneficial Insects in the Low Desert: Green Lacewings, University of Arizona

Green Lacewings, University of Minnesota

Reviewed by Eric Rebek, Oklahoma State University and Elina Coneva, Auburn University

Photo by Bruce_Marlin / CC BY