UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County

General Gardening

Green Lacewings

Green lacewing
Green lacewing adults are small, graceful insects with wings that look like membranes and green bodies that are commonly found in the garden.
Green lacewing larva
Larvae are pale with striped markings and large jaws; they look like tiny alligators, only about 3 to 20 mm long. Adults and larva prey upon a wide variety of small insects including mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, and insect eggs.

Lacewings can overwinter in our mild climate, and both larva and adults are found in the garden year-round. Green lacewings are available commercially and are among the most commonly released predators.

Brown lacewing
A related species but much less common is the brown lacewing. Brown lacewings look similar to green lacewings except they are about half the size and brown in color. The larva of both species look very similar. Brown lacewing adults and larva are also general predators, and prey on a large variety of small insects. Brown lacewings are not commercially available.

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