Green Lacewings

Order: Neuroptera
Family: Chrysopidae


Several green lacewing species are found in gardens and field crops. The adult stage is familiar to most gardeners: a pale green insect with two pairs of large, clear, highly veined wings that are held over the body when at rest. 

Green lacewing larva

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Green lacewing larva.

Green lacewing stalked egg

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Green lacewing stalked egg.

Adult green lacewing

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Adult green lacewing.

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden. 
  • These beneficial green lacewings can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps. 
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites. 


Additional Information


Life History

Adult green lacewings primarily feed on nectar but can also consumer small insects. Green lacewings lay eggs on a stalk to prevent newly hatched larvae from cannibalizing each other. These eggs are distinct and unique to lacewings. Lacewing larvae are voracious predators capable of feeding on small caterpillars and beetles, as well as aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Immature lacewings look superficially like lady beetle larvae but are light brown with a large pair of forward-facing, sickle-shaped mandibles. Lacewings are commercially available for purchase and can provide effective biological control of pests particularly in small-scale production systems and greenhouses.