weeping green lacewing

(Chrysoperla plorabunda)

Conservation Status
weeping green lacewing
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Weeping green lacewing is a widespread, very common, medium-sized, net-winged insect. It occurs in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North and South America. True to its common name, it is the most common green lacewing worldwide.

Adults are ½ to ¾ long and have a wingspan of to 1¼. The body is long and slender, and has a delicate appearance. The thorax and abdomen are pale green and often have a thin, pale yellow stripe above. The antennae are long and thread-like. The compound eyes are gold or copper-colored. On the side of the face (gena) below each compound eye there are two stripes, a reddish stripe above and a dark stripe below.

The wings are transparent with a network of pale green veins. The forewing and hindwing are the same size and shape. The subcostal vein (Sc) is not fused with the anterior branch of the radial vein (R1) at the wing tip. The costal cross-veins are not forked. The wings are held roof-like over the body when at rest.

Third stage (instar) larvae are alligator-like in appearance, ¼ to 5 16 long, and have long, sickle-shaped mandibles. They have well-developed legs which allow them to move quickly.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ½ to ¾

Wingspan: to 1¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open areas: meadows, agricultural crops, and human houses

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two or three generations per year: spring to autumn

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are nocturnal, active from sunset to sunrise. They are attracted to lights. They may emit an unpleasant odor when handled.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Overwintering adults become active in the spring. The female lays eggs singly on foliage. She can lay two to five eggs per day and several hundred over her lifetime. The eggs are oval, pale green, and held at the end of long, slender stalks. They hatch in three to six days and the larvae pass through three instars in two to three weeks. They pupate in a silk, pea-shaped cocoon. Adults emerge in ten days to two weeks. There are at least two or three generations per year. In the fall, adults of the last generation become straw-colored. They group together in leaf litter usually at the edge of a field and enter a state of suspended development (diapause).

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Mostly aphids, but also many species of insects and arachnids, including adult aphids, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies; eggs of leafhoppers, moths, and leafminers; and larvae of butterflies, moths, and beetles.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar and pollen, and aphid honeydew

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

 
  4/19/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Very common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Neuroptera (antlions, owlflies, lacewings, mantidflies and allies)  
 

Suborder

Hemerobiiformia (lacewings, mantidflies and allies)  
 

Family

Chrysopidae (green lacewings)  
 

Subfamily

Chrysopinae (typical green lacewings)  
 

Tribe

Chrysopini  
 

Genus

Chrysoperla (common green lacewings)  
  Group Chrysoperla carnea group (common green lacewing)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Chrysopa californica

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

weeping green lacewing

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gena

On insects: The area between the compound eye and the mandible; the cheek. On birds: The area between the the angle of the jaw and the bill; the feathered side (outside) of the under mandible.

 

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    weeping green lacewing      
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
7/9/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

weeping green lacewing

 
           
 
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Created: 4/19/2021

Last Updated:

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