Green Lacewing Eggs

These delicate little white eggs, each on its own half-inch stalk, are about 2mm long. They actually hatch into some fairly fierce predators: the larvae of green lacewings (Chrysopidae). The adult insects are delicate little things (although still predatory) but the half-inch larvae have huge, spiky mandibles and are known as aphid wolves or aphid lions. They are so aggressively ravenous that one theory holds the egg-stalks evolved to reduce the chances of the newly-hatched larvae eating each other.

Green lacewing larvae are very useful in biologically controlling insect pests, because they eat everything — aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, and others. You can buy them online! The adults are also pollinators.

I wish I could narrow this down to species, but there are 20 species of green lacewing in Florida (and as many as 2,000 species worldwide!), and there was no adult around to compare, so “green lacewing eggs” it is.

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