Lacewing

Chrysoperla carnea

About

There are 14 species of green lacewing in the UK and 29 species of brown lacewing. Probably the most familiar is the Common Green Lacewing which is lime green, with large, delicately veined, translucent wings. They are commonly found in gardens and help to keep pests under control as adults and larvae both feed on aphids. They are also widespread in parks, woods and meadows. Female lacewings lay their eggs on a thread of hardened mucus attached to a leaf, so they are suspending in the air. Adults will hibernate over winter, often in buildings.

How to identify

The Common Green Lacewing is a familiar garden insect with copper eyes, green, lacy wings and a green body. It turns pinkish-brown in the autumn. Generally, the different species are very difficult to tell apart, however.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Lacewings hoover up pests like aphids and so are welcomed by the gardener; in fact, lacewing larvae can be ordered by the keen gardener as a biological pest control. Alternatively, encourage them into your garden by providing shelter for overwintering adults in the form of lacewing boxes. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

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Species information

Common name
Lacewing
Latin name
Chrysoperla carnea
Category
Invertebrates
Other insects
Statistics
Length: 1-1.5cm
Conservation status
The Common Green Lacewing is common, but some species rarer, such as the Bordered Brown Lacewing which is classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.