Common Lacewings-Chrysopidae

Neuropterans of the family Chrysopidae also emit strong odors. These avid predators are green, yellow, or red in color, depending on the temperature at which they emerge from the pupal stage. The female chrysopid lays her tiny eggs atop thin, threadlike stalks that she forms from a special secretion.

The stalks are often constructed in colonies of aphids, so the emerging larva can simply climb down from its lofty cradle to pounce upon its first victim. As the larva develops, it becomes shapeless and heavy. Its body is covered with bumps tufted with thick, hook-shaped hairs.

The larvae of the Chrysopidae camouflage themselves with bits of wood or the remains of their victims. As this disguise is not abandoned during several moltings, it eventually grows quite large. The larvae pupate in silken cocoons, each equipped with a small, circular escape hatch.

The common lacewing is indeed common -widely distributed and abundant. Because of its disagreeable odor, this lacewing is sometimes called "stinkfly."


 

INDEX : Insects     September 16, 2008 01:44:16 PM