Green Lacewing (Chrysopidae) Eggs

Green Lacewings (Chrysopidae) are interesting little bugs.  They are generally green but, some can be brown as they get older.  The larvae eat aphids, as do some adults, but generally they eat pollen and liquids.  They are called Lacewings because their wings are very clear as you can see in this picture.

What I find neat about them compared to other bugs is that they lay their eggs in a spiral pattern.  These were taken on a mango on a tree in my backyard.  You can see them a bit better if you click on the picture to see a larger version.


In addition to the pattern they are laid in.  Take a look at the stalk that supports the egg.  The first thing this does is lift the egg above the surface that it is laid on.  That helps avoid egg eating predators like ants.  But, there is a second level of passive defense there.  Each stalk has drops of an oily secretion that is distasteful to other bugs.  But, the survival instinct goes a bit further.  The larvae of the lacewing pick up materials to adorn itself so that it looks like anything but a bug.  Here is one that has covered itself with debris that doesn’t look anything like a bug.  You have to look closely to see the feet clinging to the branch.  If this one hadn’t been moving, I would have assumed it was just some dead plant material.

So, survival to breed again is the imperative in this species.


About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
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4 Responses to Green Lacewing (Chrysopidae) Eggs

  1. Anita King says:

    Some were laying eggs on my car door. Pretty cool.

    • Linda says:

      We just found this “crop circle” of insect eggs on the siding in the vestibule. We have aphid on my crepe myrtle so I may let them hatch.

  2. Sande says:

    I have a ceiling fan installed outside my front door. Today I spotted the egg spiral on one of the fan blades.

  3. Elicia Dowd says:

    Does anyone know the incubation period for these amazing creatures? I have them on a wooden bench that I’m going to sand but can’t bring myself to sand them off.

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