Biology and identification
Chrysoperla sp., Chrysopa sp.
Type of insect:
Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta, Order Neuroptera, Family Chrysopidae
How to identify it:
Tiny eggs are laid singly on tiny stocks on plants. They start out bright green and change to dark grey before hatching. Chrysoperla lays individual eggs while Chrysopa lays eggs in clusters of 10-30
Larvae look like miniature alligators with six legs, similar to lady beetle, but grey in color.
Adults have delicate green wings, slender bodies, and large antennae.
Gardener friend or foe?
What does it eat?
Larvae eat aphids (lots of them!) and other soft bodied insects. Adults feed on nectar and honeydew.
What eats it?
Larvae often eat each other! They are also attacked by other insects such as lady beetle larvae. And, like most other insects, they host a variety of parasitoid wasps. A tiny wasp lays it's eggs in lacewings eggs! A slightly larger wasps lays it's eggs in the cocoons.