Green Lacewing (Chrysopa carnea)

Female lacewings lay their eggs on foliage, attached to the leaves by a hairlike extension.  Lacewing larvae are cannibalistic, so this thread prevents a larvae from consuming its siblings before they have hatched.  Lacewing larvae are voracious predators, grabbing their prey with large, sickle-shaped, hollow jaws.  They inject their prey with digestive enzymes and suck up the resulting digested tissues.  Each larva can devour 200 or more prey items (soft-bodied insects or eggs) during their two to three weeks of development.  They are often sold as biocontrol agents to feed on aphids and caterpillars of pest species.   When ready to pupate, the larvae will spin a silken cocoon.  Adults will emerge five days later and will live for four to six weeks depending on climatic conditions.  Females may lay 200 eggs during their lifetime. 

Availability: These need to be ordered and will be available after spring break.

Housing: These are carnivorous insects, so rear alone.  Larvae develop in three weeks, adults emerge in one week.  Larvae can be reared in a small jar or petri dish.  Place a moistened piece of filter paper in the dish to keep humidity up.  Place several leaves in the container for your lacewing to climb on and attach its pupal cocoon to.

Food: Moth eggs will be supplied with your lacewing eggs for food.  Adult lacewings should be given a cotton ball soaked in water, a cotton ball soaked in a 10% sugar solution, and pollen grains for food.