Eric Stafne, Mississippi State University
Green lacewing (Chrysoperla spp.) eggs, larva and adult. Egg photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.
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 (Micromus spp.) larva (L) and adult. Photos by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org.
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.
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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en