Biocontrol Agent Profile

Green Lacewing
Chrysoperla carnea


Adult green lacewings are delicate, slender insects 1/2-3/4 inches long. The lacey green wings are angled tent-like over their bodies when at rest. Adults feed on nectar, pollen and aphid honeydew and are weak flyers. Eggs are laid on stalks which helps protect them from predation.  The lacewing larvae are elongated, about 1/4 to 3/8 inches long, with prominent clumps of bristles and long, sickle-shaped mouthparts that are used to stab aphids and inject enzymes which liquify the body contents (extra-oral digestion). Lacewing larvae are primarily aphid specialists, but can also feed on a veriety of other soft-bodied insects (adults are not predaceous). Pupae are round, white, and about the size of a BB.

Diagnostic image(s)

Lacewing larva

Diagnostic description

The larvae are alligator-like with sickle-shaped mandibles that feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insect pests such as mites, thrips, leafhoppers and mealy bugs.


Photo credit(s)

J.K.Clark, University of California Statewide IPM Project