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Common Green Lacewing (Chysopa carnea)


Common Green Lacewing
Chrysopa carnea Stephens
(Order Neuroptera; Family Chrysopidae)

Chrysopa carnea, overwintering (photo by Lindsay Drees)
(Kansas: Sedgwick County.  Wichita, Sleepy Hollow, 37°41'40"N, 97°17'35"W.  At porch light.  November 16, 2011.)
Adult Diagnosis: This insect is very delicate in appearance with glassy, net-veined wings and golden eyes.  The whole insect is green with the exception of a black bar from the eyes to the mouth and a yellow or ivory dorsal band over the thorax. Antennae are long and filamentous.  The adult can range from 6 to 13mm in length.  Overwintering adults often appear tan, brick red markings may occur during this period.

Chrysoperla carnea - Green lacewing - Guldögonslända

Photo Credit: Robert Svensson (Found at:

(Found at:

Larval Diagnosis:  Larvae are brown with pincer like mandibles.

Photo Credit: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez (Found at:

Natural History:  The most common Chyrsopidae species in Kansas.  This species can be seen from early spring until late fall.  Adults are nocturnal in habit and are common visitors of porch lights.  They overwinter in fallen vegetation and emerge once the weather warms up in the spring.  Females locate oviposition sites in response to olfactory cues both from food resources and the habitat itself.  Eggs are characteristically stalked.

The larvae are important predators and are often referred to as aphid lions.  This species is often used as a method of biological control over many types of crop pests.  Females may be lured to oviposit on a commercial crop by the artificial application of honeydew.

Distribution: The species is holartic and very widely distributed.  Occurs throughout North America, including the entire state of Kansas.

Found at: (Accessed through GBIF Data Portal,, 2011-11-17)

Habitat: Adults and larvae found in fields, gardens, and sparse woodlands.

Diet:  Adults feed on pollen and honeydew.  Larvae are generalist predators and have been observed to feed on over 70 different prey species in 5 insect orders.  The most commor prey species are aphids.

(Found at:

Conservation Status:  Stable


Common Green Lacewing larvae sucking on an aphid:


Common Green Lacewing adult up close:



Midwest Biological Control News:


Biological Control A Guide ot Natural Enemies in North America:



Salsbury, G.A., S.C. White. 2000.  Insects in Kansas, 3rd Edition. Kansas Department of Agriculture. Topeka, KS.

Bellows, T.S., T.W. Fisher.  1999.  Handbook of Biological Control.  Academic Press. San Diego, CA.

Tauber, M.J., C.A. Tauber. 1983.  Life History Traits of Chrysopa carnea and Chrysopa rufilabris (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae):  Influence of Humidity. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 76:282-285. 


Submitted by: Lindsay Drees, November 2011.






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