What is Lacewing?

Lacewing is any of a group of insects that poses a complex network of wing veins that gives them a lacy appearance. Lacewing is any of a group of insects that poses a complex network of wing veins that gives them a lacy appearance. Green lacewings are the types of insects in the large family Chrysopidae of the order Neuroptera. This group has about 85 genera and 1,300–2,000 species. Most of the members of the genera Chrysopa and Chrysoperla are very common in Europe and North America. 


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Types of Lacewing


1. Green Lacewing 

Green lacewings are a type of insect predator that measures ½ to ¾ of an inch (1-2 cm) long and have very distinctive delicate-looking wings. The green lacewing scientific name is Chrysopidae. Green lacewings are the types of insects in the large family Chrysopidae of the order Neuroptera. It is also referred to as the lacewing bug. This group has about 85 genera and 1,300–2,000 species. Most of the members of the genera Chrysopa and Chrysoperla are very common in Europe and North America. Chrysopidae is the most common lacewing in the family of green lacewing. The green lacewing, sometimes called the golden-eyed lacewing, has long, delicate antennae, copper-coloured eyes and a slender greenish body, and two pairs of similar veined wings. The lacewing bug is also called a stink fly as it emits a disagreeable odour that acts as a protective tool. The female species of green lacewing secretes slender stalks, and they deposit one egg on top of each stalk which further prevents the predatory larvae from devouring unhatched eggs. The larva, also known as an aphid lion, has evident sucking mouthparts and well-built legs—these help capture and drain the body fluids from aphids. The larva spins a silken cocoon on the underside of a leaf and remains in the pupal case after two continuous weeks of feeding before emerging as an adult. Adults are almost 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 inches) in length. 


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2. Brown Lacewing

The brown lacewing variant is smaller in size than the green lacewing. It is brown in colour, may have some dark spots on the wings, and does not secrete stalks for its eggs. Hemerobiidae is the most common lacewing fly in the family of brown lacewing. Some lacewing larvae carry debris (including the bodies of their victims) on their backs with bristles or hooks. This process of camouflage surprises its victims and also protects them from enemies.


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Life Cycle of Green Lacewing

Green lacewings are delicate insects with wings ranging from 6 to over 65 mm; They have a characteristic of the coastal field in their wing venation, which has the cross-veins. The bodies of these insects are generally bright green to greenish-brown, and the compound eyes are golden in many species. Some of them have green wing veins or a cloudy brownish wing pattern. 

Adults have tympanal organs, which enables them to hear well. Once the bat's ultrasound calls, Chrysopa shows evasive behaviour; they tend to close their wings when in flight and drop down to the ground. Green lacewings also use their bodily vibrations as a form of communication between themselves, especially during courtship. Species that are nearly identical morphologically can be separated more easily according to their mating signals. For instance, the southern European Chrysoperla Mediterranea looks almost the same as its northern relative C. carnea (Common Green Lacewing). Still, their courtship "songs" are very different, which means individuals of one species will not respond to the other's vibrations.

Larva of unknown species camouflaged with sand grains. Adults are nocturnal. They eat pollen, honeydew, and nectar with mites, aphids, and some, namely Chrysopa, are mainly predatory. Others consume almost exclusively nectar and other similar substances and have symbiotic yeasts to help break down the food into nutrients.

Lacewing larvae are very tiny when emerging from the lacewing egg but eventually grow up to a length of 3/8 of an inch. They're called aphid lions because they furiously attack aphids by trapping them with large, sucking jaws and injecting a paralyzing venom. The hollow jaws then take out the body fluids of the pest and then kill it. This lacewing method has the greatest versatility for aphid control in field crops, greenhouses, or orchards, among all available commercial predators. 

In their two-three developmental weeks, each green lacewing larva will feed on 200 or more pests or pest eggs a week. Then, the larvae pupate by spinning a cocoon with silken thread. Almost five days later, adult lacewings emerge to reproduce and repeat their life cycle. The adult will live about four to six weeks, depending on the climatic conditions.

Each adult female can deposit more than 200 eggs. Habitats should motivate the adults to remain and reproduce in the release area for the best results. Nectar, honeydew, and pollen stimulate their reproductive process. An artificial diet known as Wheat provides the adults with the appropriate nutrition they require for reproduction.

Eggs: Green Lacewing eggs are pale green and oval in shape. The eggs turn grey just before the larvae hatch. The eggs are transported in vials with food and a carrier such as rice hulls, bran. It is good to allow a few of the lacewing larvae to begin emerging from the eggs before allowing them to release. After a few emerge, release as soon as possible to avoid cannibalism. One should try to release it late afternoon or early morning. Eggs can only be stored at no lower than 50°F for approximately 48 hours, and humidity should be approximately 75% to minimize egg mortality. 

Adults: Green Lacewing adults are generally sold in containers of 100, 250, or 1,000 and should be released only on the day received. Moisten the accompanying sponge in water and substitute it whenever an immediate release is not feasible. We do not recommend refrigerating the adults. In around for-six week lifespan, one adult female lacewing fly can deposit up to 800 eggs. Proper resident and food will help adults stay in the area, continuing the Better Pest Management lifecycle. 

Larvae: Lacewing larvae are usually sold in bottles of 1,000 or 6×8 inches. Hexcel rearing frames having a minimum of 400 larvae. Both containers have a restricted supply of food, so the larvae must be utilized as soon as possible. Lacewing larvae are quite safe for animals and humans but vigorously attack their prey. They are perfect for aphid control as each lacewing larva can feed 200 or more pests or pest eggs during the two- to the three-week larval stage.


Life Cycle of Brown Lacewing 

Brown lacewings lay their oval-shaped and white eggs in batches on the underside of leaves or the plant hairs. The length of the eggs is about 0.7 mm long. They are often laid near infestations of prey.  The female kind of this insect may lay hundreds of eggs and can survive for many weeks.

Each lacewing egg hatch a long, mottled brown larva. This first stage larva is almost 1.8 mm long. After the larvae moult several times, they have long (up to 10 mm) narrow flattened bodies. In addition, they have pincers that protrude far in front of the head, and these pincers are used to trap their prey. The larvae pupate for about five days after about two weeks.

The adults are light to dark brown, up to 10 mm long. They are smaller than green lacewing. They include two pairs of wings that are about the same in size, clear with networks of veins and cross veins. The black compound eyes are big enough for the size of the head, and the antennae of brown lacewings are characteristically long.

The green lacewing (Chrysoperla sp.) is a famous beneficial insect found in the landscape. They generally prey on aphids and control mites and other soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, mealybugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies. Everyone knows about the ladybug as a friend in the battle against bugs. However, they also provide just as much help to a gardener seeking a chemical-free solution to insect pests. The lacewing fly is beneficial insects like the ladybug will be your best gardening pals if you put aside broad-spectrum pesticide use and let them hunt unhindered on your plants.


Conclusion

The use of lacewing for insect control is a very commonly used practice in home gardens and greenhouses. However, they often exist on their own after the spring breeding season. Observe the little eggs hanging from thin, thread-like spindles on both sides of plant leaves– these distinctive eggs belong to the green lacewing. You can help green lacewings stick around by cutting the use of broad-spectrum pesticides. These chemicals led the pest insects to multiply. When pesticides must be used, try those that target a particular group of pests, like Bacillus thuringiensis, a stomach poison that works wonders on caterpillars and maggots. It is important to have some pests as if these pests are totally eliminated, the lacewing fly will go elsewhere in search of hunting spots. Be prepared to see a few bugs now and again; just observe regularly to make sure they don’t reach the destination before your lacewings get a handle on things.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is The Difference Between Green Lacewing and Brown Lacewing?

Ans. The green lacewing has long, delicate antennae, copper-coloured eyes and as lender greenish body, and two pairs of similar veined wings. It secretes stalks for its eggs, whereas the brown lacewing variant is smaller than green lacewing. It is brown in colour, may have some dark spots on the wings, and does not secrete stalks for its eggs.

2. How Does a Lacewing Protect Itself?

Ans. Most species of lacewings and their larvae are considered active predators and are often utilized for biological control. Many adults of Chrysopa can defend themselves by giving out a vile smell from glands at the front of their thorax. They have 'ears' at the base of their front wings.

3. What Do Lacewing Eat?

Ans. They feed on soft-bodied insects like aphids but will also eat beetles and caterpillars. Most are vegetarian and feed on pollen and nectar, while others mostly eat insects such as aphids and mites. Many species will eat both, depending on what is available.

4. What are the Advantages of Licewing?

Ans. The most significant benefit of lacewing larvae is their aggressiveness. They will eat anything they can catch, and they are always hungry. They're also economical, especially the eggs. It is also beneficial to insects like the ladybug as they will be your best gardening pals. 

5. Name The Most Common Species of Green Lacewing and Brown Lacewing?

Ans. Chrysopidae is the most common lacewing in the family of green lacewing, and Hemerobiidae is the most common lacewing in the family of brown lacewing.