Despite its beautiful, poetic name, the green lacewing (Chrysoperla rufilabris) is deadly to almost any soft-bodied insect pest and its eggs. In its adult stage, it lives up to its name, feeding only on nectar and pollen. In its larval stage — when it’s known as the “aphid lion” or “aphid wolf” — it’s a voracious consumer of problem insects, known to devour over 200 aphids in a week. If it runs out of food, it will cannibalize other lacewing larvae.
- rufilabris lays up to 200 eggs, often near a colony of aphids, on a slender stalk, known as the “egg stalk,” attached to the underside of a plant leaf. After hatching, the larvae climb the stalk to find their prey. The larvae continue to feed for two to three weeks, then spin cocoons from which the delicate adults emerge in five days, ready to lay more eggs.