Martin Harvey's picture

Green lacewing

Observed: 2nd April 2011 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Chrysopa carnea agg - Great Kimble - cropped
Chrysopa carnea agg - Great Kimble - annotated
Chrysopa carnea agg - Great Kimble

The commonest of the larger green lacewings (and the one that overwinters in sheds etc.) is Chrysoperla carnea, and one of its distinguishing features is the placement of vein RMCV in relation to cell IMC, as shown above. It's possible to examine this on live individuals, but you do need to be gentle! This one flew away when I'd finished photographing it so hopefully it wasn't too put out.
"Chrysoperla carnea" is considered to be an aggregate of several closely related and very similar species, and I'm not sure what the current thinking is about exactly how many species are involved and how they can be told apart, but at least the aggregate as a whole can be recognised.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


moongirl01's picture

I've been seeing quite a few

I've been seeing quite a few green lacewings this year. They were in the garden from early March onwards. I think that's earlier in the year than usual.

Great photos, by the way!

Martin Harvey's picture


Yes, Chrysoperla carnea (aggregate) is the only one of the green lacewings that overwinters as an adult, so you can find them at almost any time of year, but they usually start becoming active again in late March/early April.

Entomologist and biological recorder

rimo's picture

As far as I know, the main

As far as I know, the main determinant of the new species is by the male's courtship call, with only very small external morphological differences, eg the shape of the basal dilation of the tarsal claw.

As of 2001 we had 3 of the aggregate species recorded in the UK, with another 3 in Europe - I'm not sure how far things have moved on since then though.

Record your ladybird sightings!