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Green Lacewings

Identify It >   Invertebrate Section >   Green Lacewings >

Scientific name:  Chrysopidae

Size:  Approx 2 to 3cm long

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  April to October

Life span:  Up to 10 months

Habitat:  Most areas including parks, gardens, woodland edges, hedgerows and meadows

Food:  Small insects, especially aphids

Special features:  Green Lacewings get their name from their delicate lace-like wings which are held roof-like over the body.

They have green coloured bodies, long, thin, green antennae, and gold coloured eyes.

Green Lacewings hibernate as adults, and one species, Chrysoperla carnea will readily come into houses in autumn.  At hibernation time their bodies change from pale green to a dull pink colour.

Both the adults and their larvae feed on aphids, greenfly and other small insects, so they are an ideal insect to have in the garden.  The lacewing larvae frequently put the remains of their victims onto their own backs.  This acts as camouflage, allowing the larvae to sneak up on more prey.  These insects are so good at hunting aphids that they are reared for biological pest control.

The eggs are laid on hair-like stalks on leaves and stems, often in large groups.

There are at least 14 different species of Green Lacewing in the UK.

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