From the Garden – Lacewings

Brown Lacewing
Brown Lacewing

The Lacewing (order Neuroptera, roughly translated to “nerve-wings”) insects are important predators of economic pests.  Lacewing larvae are voracious predators that prey upon soft-bodied arthropods such as aphids, scale and whitefly.  I have not yet been able to photograph one of these killer larvae yet, and that may be due to their tendency to cover themselves in pieces of trash (including parts of their victims) they find in their environment as camouflage.  Another interesting bit of information about these insects is how their eggs are deposited.  The photograph below shows the eggs deposited on long thread-like stalks, which have been hypothesized to be deterrents to not only predation, but cannibalism as the larvae hatch and immediately begin to look for something to eat.

Lacewing Eggs
Lacewing Eggs


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