Green Lacewing_Chrysoperla carnea
Photographed on the Thursday 20 August 2015.
Lacewings are common insects in British gardens and are easy to recognise by their transparent lace-like wings, which are nearly twice as long as the abdomen. They belong to the Order Neuroptera (net-winged insects). Lacewing larvae are voracious consumers of aphids and insect eggs. There are several British lacewing species, which are often divided by colour, into green (14 species) or brown (29 species) forms. The giant lacewing (Osymlus fulvicephalus), with a wingspan of up to 5 cm, is often found near streams and rivers. They are fairly slow moving and would make a ready meal for a foraging bird, so are rarely seen flying during the day. Instead of feeding on aphids, the larvae of the giant lacewing are semi-aquatic, and feed on the larvae of midges and other small species. Lacewings can be encouraged to remain in your garden by providing homes for their winter hibernation, which can be bought from some garden centres. They will be ready to lay eggs and help to control your aphids when they emerge from hibernation in the spring.
Green Lacewings belong to the Family Chrysopoidea of which there are about 1300-2000 species in 85 genera. The lacewing shown here is the Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) of the Genus Chrysoperia. They are also sometimes known as ‘’stinkflies’’ due to their ability to release a vile smelling compound from their glands when handled and presumably a self defence mechanism. They have hearing organs at the base of the forewing and some Chrysopa are known to able evade bats when hearing their ultrasound frequencies by closing their wings (reducing their own echo-signature) and dropping to the ground. Green lacewings also use substrate or body vibration as a form of communication especially during courtship i.e. Lacewings court by 'tremulation', a low frequency sound produced by vibrating their abdomens, which in turn causes the substrate they are standing on to vibrate. The males
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