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Neuroptera (Beneficial Predators):

Antlion (Doodlebugs): Family Myrmeleontiedae antlion_small.gif (9973 bytes)

Hesperoleon abdominalis

Larvae are predators which emerge in the Spring and have long, sickle-like jaws and feed mainly on ants and other small insects. The larvae bury themselves at the bottom of sand pits in dry, sandy soil and leave only their jaws exposed. When the victim slides down into the sandpit the ant lion siezes it. Adults resemble damselflies but have longer, clubbed antenna and are about 1-3/4" (44 mm) long. Their wings are transparent with many cross veins. They are poor flyers and eat only nectar or nibble on pollen. They are long and dark brown with yellow behind the head.

Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla or Chrysopa carnea): Family Chrysopidae

Green Lacewing

The adult form is shown above which feeds on nectar, pollen and aphid honeydew. They are pale green about 12-20 mm long and with long antenna and bright gold eyes. They have a delicate body and are active, fluttery flyers. Another species is Chrysoperla rufilabris which is more often found in greenhouses, irrigated crop areas and southeastern or midwestern areas.

Green Lacewing Larva

The larvae are the real predators with grey or brown bodies and alligator-like leg. They also have large pincers with which they grab their victim and they suck the body juices out. They attack aphids, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, eggs of leafhoppers, moths, leafminers, small caterpillars, beetle larvae and tobacco budworm.

The eggs are white and found underneath leaves on long, slender stalks.


Brown Lacewing: Family Hemerobiidae Brown LacewingBrown Lacewing Larva

A darker, hairyer version of the green lacewing. Does not lay it's eggs on stalks. Similar appetite to green lacewing.


Mantidfly: Family Mantispidae

Closely related to lacewings. They feed on spider eggs as well as wasp and beetle larvae. Mantidfly

Size is about 1" (25 mm) long and their wingspan is about the same. They lay eggs in clusters.


Last edited: 11/23/98 08:32 PM



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