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Green Lacewing (Chrysopa spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Green Lacewing.


 Updated: 4/18/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Green Lacewing  
Picture of Green-Lacewing


The minty, dainty Green Lacewing is a wonderful friend to the gardener. They are visually appealing and voracious predators of pests.





Green Lacewings are widespread across North America. They are small and look very delicate. They are nocturnal as adults and can be found visiting gardens, flower beds, parks, meadows, farms, fields and even forests especially at dusk. Their flexibility when it comes to habitat and diet may be part of their huge range. They can be bought and sold online, much like useful Lady Beetles thanks to what they eat. Thousands are raised every year for deliberate release inside greenhouses, orchards, farms and gardens.

The larval Green Lacewing doesn't look like an insect at first glance. It resembles a dirty cotton ball or pile of plant and dead insect debris. This coat of camouflage is collected early after hatching in order to conceal itself from predators like ants. Green Lacewing larvae have huge appetites. They hatch and are immediately hungry. For this reason, females lay the tiny white eggs some distance apart so the siblings don't rush to eat each other as they hatch.

Larvae eat any small insect they encounter, and aphids (smaller flying insect that are the bane of gardeners and growers) are on top of the list. For this reason, they are also called "aphid lions". Aphids drink the juices of young plants, often killing them. Infestations are difficult to eliminate due to their rapid reproduction rate. Ants herd aphids like sheep in order to collect the sweet 'honeydew' they secrete from their bottoms. Because Green Lacewing larvae eat aphids, ants are quick to kill them to protect the herd, hence the need for camouflage. Unchecked by ants, Green Lacewings can control aphid populations without the need for chemical pesticides.

Adult Green Lacewings also eat aphids as well as pollen and the 'honeydew' created by aphids. Some species eat mealworms and other vegetable-harming insect. Green Lacewings can emit a foul smelling secretion when threatened. They are most active in the summer months.
Basic Information
Common Name: Green Lacewing
Scientific Name: Chrysopa spp.
Category: Antlion or Lacewing


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 14mm (0.43in to 0.55in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: green, white
Additional Descriptors: delicate, translucent, flying, helpful, cottony ball, waxy, puff




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Chrysopidae
Genus: Chrysopa
Species: spp.




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Green Lacewing may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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