Common Green Lacewing


Chrysoperla carnea group – I am always taken by the delicacy these insects possess. These are very much respected in the garden as they eat large numbers of aphids and mites. If you wish to learn more about these fascinating insects please click on the link below. Double-click image to enlarge.


Neuroptera: The Lacewings


Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea group

© Peter Hillman ♦ 9th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Neuroptera

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

This is the Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea), which I discovered in my garden the other day. They are good at devouring greenfly, so can be one of the gardener’s best buddies. It belongs to the order mentioned in the title ‘Neuroptera’ – which contains the ‘net-winged insects’ such as lacewings, antlions and mantidflies.

One of the fine ‘lace’ wings on this one are slightly damaged as you can see, but it is still quite a beautiful insect. I especially like the pale green colour and yellow stripe running from head to tail.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Predator

Lacewing larvae

You can see where the creators of the movie of the same name may have got their inspiration for the monster. This is the larva of a lacewing, and they are ferocious hunters of aphids.

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer …


June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Sisyra nigra

Sisyra nigra

Wingspan 10-12mm. This small fly which rests with its wings in a tentlike fashion and resembles a brown lacewing is actually a Spongefly from the family Sisyridae within the order of Neuroptera. Note the antennae are completely dark compared to other similar species of which there are three in Britain within the same genus Sisyra.

The larvae are entirely aquatic and feed within the tissue of freshwater sponges. This is the most common and widespread species encountered, and is seen in association with slow-moving or static water. The adults are seen May to October.

Double click on image to enlarge.


August 2017, attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Of Finest Lace #2

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

Double click on image to enlarge.


Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea, August 2017, on shed, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Yet Another Master of Disguise

Lacewing Larva

Coincidence can be a wonderful thing, and can sometimes pose a mystery. Whilst photographing the moth for my last post on the ‘Master of Disguise’ subject, I saw what I thought was the back-end of the moth separate and move off on its own. This can’t be so? I thought, then realised it was another creature on the trunk of my crab apple tree. But I saw no creature with the naked eye, but what appeared to be crawling debris? Huh?

Lacewing Larva

These images show that amongst the debris is a tiny, pale and hairy, long-legged creature which has piled its back high with bits of debris, possibly body parts from its victims. It is quite tiny, and you could probably fit half a dozen of them on your little fingernail. I was baffled, for I had never seen anything like this before. Then with some help via Google, I discovered what it was.

Chrysopidae, are a family of green lacewings. Lacewings are good for the garden, for they eat up all the aphids. Below is an image of an adult lacewing, the Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea). The mystery creature in the above image is most likely the larva of a green lacewing, which is doing the wolf  in a sheep’s clothing thing. My small crab apple tree always suffers with aphid attacks, and I have seen ants protecting them and milking them for their sweet secretions of honeydew. The lacewing aphid has covered itself in the bodies of its prey to sneak past the ants line of defence into the aphid camp where it attacks and eats them. It was actually moving up the tree with a line of ants, and appeared to be unbothered by them.

How clever, and how amazing is that?

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

Of Finest Lace

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

This is the Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea). If you have these in your garden you are in good hands, as these insects will eat up your greenfly in great numbers. Note how fine and delicate the wings are, and the tiny hairs which help identify this species of Chrysopidae, which is a subfamily in the insect order of Neuroptera.

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea


Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer.


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.

Micromus variegatus

Micromus variegatus

The wings of this small lacewing have distinctive brown markings. Length 8mm.

Micromus variegatus

Like most lacewings, they feed on aphids.

Mainly seen July and August. They inhabit many well vegetated habitats, including hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs of Micromus variegatus, taken June 2015, rear garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Common Green Lacewing

Chrysoperla carnea

A pale green species with clear green wings which are held tent-like over the body when at rest. This species lacks the dark head markings other similar species are identified by, but has a light yellowish-green stripe running down the centre of its body. Overwintering adults can be straw-coloured with red spots on the abdomen. Length 15mm.  Similar to Chrysopa perla.

Both adults and larvae are avid aphid eaters, and can decimate numbers, so much so they are used as a biological pest control agents.They not only feed on aphids, but other small insects like mites and leafhoppers. The adults also eat pollen and honeydew.

Seen all year round. Found in all types of vegetation, along woodland rides, in hedgerows, and also gardens. They are often seen at dusk as weak fliers, and they are attracted to light at night. Common and widespread.

Photographs taken  July 2015 and June 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. The adult above was attracted to the light of my moth trap.