Common Green Lacewing

Common Green Lacewing ©Rachel Scopes

Common Green Lacewing

Scientific name: Chrysoperla carnea
The Common Green Lacewing is a lime green, delicate insect, with translucent, intricately veined wings. It is common in gardens and parks, where it helps to control aphid pests.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 1-1.5cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

There are 14 species of green lacewing in the UK and 29 species of brown lacewing. Probably the most familiar is the Common Green Lacewing, which is lime green, with large, delicately veined, translucent wings. It is commonly found in gardens and helps to keep pests under control as adults and larvae both feed on aphids. Lacewings are also widespread in parks, woods and meadows. Female lacewings lay their eggs on a thread of hardened mucus attached to a leaf, so they are suspended in the air. Adults will hibernate over winter, often in buildings.

How to identify

The Common Green Lacewing is a familiar garden insect with copper eyes, green, lacy wings, and a green body. It turns pinkish-brown in the autumn. However, the different species of green lacewing are very difficult to tell apart.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Once they have sucked all the juices out of an aphid, the larvae of some lacewing species use the dried out bodies as camouflage, sticking the skins to their own backs and hunting down more aphid-prey.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.