Ed_P's picture

Lacewing Larva

Observed: 2nd July 2011 By: Ed_PEd_P’s reputation in InvertebratesEd_P’s reputation in InvertebratesEd_P’s reputation in Invertebrates
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Martin Harvey's picture


Just to add that if you are identiyfing things on iSPot to genus level, it is best just to give the genus name alone ("Chrysoperla" in this case), without any additional text such as "species" or "sp.". You can usually find the genus in the drop-down list from the species dictionary, so you can just pick it off the list.

If you do this it just makes it more likely that you will see links to the EoL pages and to other observations on iSpot.

Entomologist and biological recorder

Martin Harvey's picture

lacewing larvae

I was being a bit hasty in assigning this one to fmaily Chrysopidae, as grant burleigh points out it could be in family Hemerobiidae. I can't find much information about how to tell these apart; there is a difference in whether or not the tarsal claws have a pad between them (the empodium, present in Chrysopidae but lacking in Hemerobiidae), but I can't see that in the photo.

There is also some discussion about tubercles on the body and thickness of antennae here:

but that discussion doesn't reach a definitive conclusion. So I'm stuck - can anyone else help with this?

Entomologist and biological recorder

rimo's picture

Brown lacewing larvae are

Brown lacewing larvae are less hairy than Chrysopidae, and have no tubercles (which usually bear bristles), as well as lacking an empodium (except at 1st instar). Additionally, the mandibles are fairly straight basally, only curving apically, whereas Chrysopidae are relatively evenly curved along their length. The first abdominal segment in browns is the same size as the 2nd and 3rd, whereas in Chrysopids the first segment is smaller than 2 & 3.

Browns are also in general slimmer, darker and slightly smaller than Chrysopids, and generally have a longer, thinner first thoracic segment, giving a long-necked look, and are not trash-bearers. If you catch them hatching it's easy - brown lacewings don't lay eggs on stalks, unlike Chrysopids

I'd be pretty confident this is Chrysopidae

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Martin Harvey's picture


great stuff, thanks for that rimo

Entomologist and biological recorder