Chrysoperla carnea, commonly called green lacewing or aphid lion, is a small insect native to Canada, belonging to the Neuroptera family.
Adults are delicate insects, 2 cm long. They are pale green, with translucent oval wings and long antennae. The eggs are laid on plants, generally near aphid colonies. Each egg is attached to a thin stem (pedicel) 1 cm long. The larvae are predatory, with strong mandibles (mouthparts) that enables them to seize their prey.
Adults are active at dusk and feed on pollen, flower nectar and aphid honeydew. Their larvae on the other hand feed on thrips, whiteflies, moths, beetles, eggs, small larvae, mealy bugs, psyllids, and mites. These little monsters have large hollow hooked jaws that pierce into the prey on contact and secrete digestive enzymes that melts it into its exoskeleton, sucking up the prey’s body juice.
The number of lacewings needed for effective control depends on the pest population and climatic conditions.These insects are extremely effective under certain conditions, especially in protected or enclosed areas such as a greenhouse.
|Low infestation||10 larvae||per m 2||per 14 days||as needed|
|Hot spot||50 larvae||per m 2||per 7 days||as needed|
|Low infestation||50 eggs||per m 2||as needed||as needed|
Biological control as a scientific endeavor began more than 130 years ago (beginning in the 1880s).
Source : Encyclopedia of Insects (Vincent H. Resh et Ring T. Cardé, 2003)