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Aliases Lacewing

Aphid lions, green lacewings, brown lacewings

Physical Features

Adult ground lacewings have just what you would expect, lacey-looking wings. Their green or brown bodies are long, as are their thin antennae. Many times their eyes are reflective in gold or silver colors.
Larvae of lacewings are fast moving and alligator-like with large piercing mouthparts in the shape of two scythes. Larvae use these large ‘fangs’ to puncture and suck fluids from soft-bodied insects, like aphids. Larvae are so voracious that eggs are laid on separate stalks to keep the hatching lacewings from eating each other! Talk about sibling rivalry!

Beneficial Features

Lacewings are always on the trail of soft-bodied troublemakers, much like ladybugs. The brown lacewing is generally more active early in the year around Lake Whatcom while the more common green lacewing builds up its squadrons in spring and early summer. By fall you will see many green lacewing agents flying around your porch light.


  • All adult lacewings that are feeding enjoy munching on pollen while they toast with nectar to their many kills as young and daring larvae. (Some kinds will even show their bravery extends beyond youth by continuing to knock off aphids.) Provide flower pollen and nectar sources throughout your yard.
  • Lacewings are a little more tolerant to pesticides than other insects, but still use caution if applying them.

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For more information, contact Scarlet Tang or Todd Murray
WSU Cooperative Extension (360) 676-6736
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