Brown Lacewing
(Common Name)
(General Category)
Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae
(Taxonomic Classification)
Several species
(Scientific Name)

Brown lacewing adult with rollover ID charactersBrown lacewing larva with rollover ID characters

Description: Like green lacewings, brown lacewings are predators of aphids as well as other small, soft-bodied arthropods such as mites, mealybugs and caterpillars. The adults and larvae are always predacious and the larvae are sometimes referred to as aphid lions.

Identification:  Rollover pictures with mouse for tips on how to identify these predators. Adults: Brown color with wings smaller than green lacewings and semi-transparent net-like wings. Veins on front of forewing are forked, compared to those of green lacewings which are straight. Long, thick antennae. Appear superficially like caddisfly adults, but brown lacewings have shorter legs, well-developed mouthparts, and the forked wing veins. Larvae: Narrow, worm-like bodies strongly tapered at both ends. Short, tubular pincer-like jaws. Eggs: Unlike green lacewing eggs, brown lacewing eggs are not laid on stalks.

Value in Pest Management: Brown lacewings are not as abundant as green lacewings, but contribute to natural control of aphids and other small soft-bodied insects and insect eggs. They are not sold commercially.

Origin and Distribution:  Native, throughout North America (

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