common green lacewing

(Chrysoperla carnea group)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

common green lacewing



NNR - Unranked


not listed


Very common


Two or three generations per year: spring to autumn


Open areas: meadows, agricultural crops, and human houses


Total Length: ½ to ¾

Wingspan: to 1¼

Photo by Alfredo Colon

Common green lacewing is a widespread, very common, medium-sized, net-winged insect. It occurs in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North and South America. True to its common name, it is the most common green lacewing (family Chrysopidae).

Adults are ½ to ¾ long and have a wingspan of to 1¼. The body is long and slender, and has a delicate appearance. The thorax and abdomen are pale green and often have a thin, pale yellow stripe above. The antennae are long and thread-like. The eyes are gold or copper-colored.

The wings are transparent with a network of pale green veins. The forewing and hindwing are the same size and shape. The subcostal vein (Sc) is not fused with the anterior branch of the radial vein (R1) at the wing tip. The costal cross-veins are not forked. The wings are held roof-like over the body when at rest.

Third stage (instar) larvae are alligator-like in appearance, ¼ to 5 16 long, and have long, sickle-shaped mandibles. They have well-developed legs which allow them to move quickly.



Larval Food

Mostly aphids, but also many species of insects and arachnids, including adult aphids, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies; eggs of leafhoppers, moths, and leafminers; and larvae of butterflies, moths, and beetles.

Adult Food

Flower nectar and pollen, and aphid honeydew

Life Cycle

Overwintering adults become active in the spring. The female lays eggs singly on foliage. She can lay two to five eggs per day and several hundred over her lifetime. The eggs are oval, pale green, and held at the end of long, slender stalks. They hatch in three to six days and the larvae pass through three instars in two to three weeks. They pupate in a silk, pea-shaped cocoon. Adults emerge in ten days to two weeks. There are at least two or three generations per year. In the fall, adults of the last generation become straw-colored. They group together in leaf litter usually at the edge of a field and enter a state of suspended development (diapause).


Adults are nocturnal, active from sunset to sunrise. They are attracted to lights. They may emit an unpleasant odor when handled.

Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 29, 30.


Species Complex
The scientific name Chrysoperla carnea refers not to a single species but to a group of several closely related species that can only be told apart only by their courtship songs. Within the Chrysoperla carnea species complex, the namesake species Chrysoperla carnea is found in Europe but not in North America.



Neuroptera (antlions, owlflies, lacewings, mantidflies and allies)



Hemerobiiformia (lacewings, mantidflies and allies)



Chrysopidae (green lacewings)








Chrysopa carnea

Chrysopa nigripilosa


aphid lion

common green lacewing

green lacewing










The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.






Visitor Photos
Share your photo of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Alfredo Colon
  common green lacewing    Photos






Visitor Videos
Share your video of this insect.

This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more videos or YouTube links and, if you like, a caption.

Other Videos
  Chrysoperla Carnea
daniel garza

Published on Oct 12, 2010

Chrysoperla Carnea

  La Chrysope verte (Chrysoperla carnea), larves à l’oeuvre, par André Lequet.
André Lequet

Published on Oct 27, 2018

Si les pucerons constituent la proie de prédilection des larves de la chrysope verte (alias la «Demoiselle aux yeux d’or»), on peut dire que tout fait ventre dès l’instant où la taille est compatible, et la pénétration des mandibules rendue possible par la faible résistance des téguments. En l’absence de nourriture conventionnelle, une larve de chrysope (sans doute introduite dans la box avec la déco), a été retrouvée crocs plantés dans la gorge d’un juvénile de mante ocellée (Iris oratoria) ayant récemment mué, d’où une forte suspicion de prédation. Faute de mieux des cadavres d’insectes non desséchés sont également consommés en élevage, et sans doute aussi «in natura». Pour en savoir plus sur cette chrysope, et sur de nombreux autres insectes, voyez mes «Pages entomologiques» sur

Google Translation: If aphids are the preferred prey of larvae of the green lacewing (aka the "Golden-eyed Lady"), we can say that everything is belly from the moment the size is compatible, and the penetration of the mandibles returned possible by the weak resistance of the integuments. In the absence of conventional food, a larva of chrysopus (probably introduced into the box with the decoration), was found crocs planted in the throat of a juvenile ocellated mantis (Iris oratoria) having recently moulted, where a strong suspicion of predation. For lack of better corpses of insects not dry are also consumed in breeding, and probably also "in natura". To learn more about this laceweed, and many other insects, see my "entomological pages" on

  La chrysope verte (Chrysoperla carnea): Les parades nuptiales (par André Lequet)
André Lequet

Published on Oct 12, 2018

Tout est dans le titre ! Pour en savoir plus sur la Chrysope verte, alias la « Demoiselle aux yeux d’or », et sur de nombreux autres insectes, voyez mes « Pages entomologiques » sur

Google Translation: Everything is in the title ! To learn more about the Green Chrysopia, aka the "Golden Eyed Lady", and many other insects, see my "Entomological Pages" on

  Chrysoperla carnea
Michel-Marie Solito de Solis

Published on Apr 26, 2014


  Chrysoperla carnea (Common green lacewing)
Guillaume Licken

Published on Aug 26, 2014

Chrysoperla carnea

Order: Neuroptera
Family: Chrysopidae
Genus: Chrysoperla
Length: 12--20 millimetres (0.47--0.78 in)




Visitor Sightings
Report a sighting of this insect.
This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.

Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

common green lacewing





Created: 1/1/2019

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2020 All rights reserved.