It Caught My Eye: Green Seen

lacewing.jpgStepping out onto the porch this morning to ready my bike I was pleased to feel the temps had cooled down from the last several days and upon grabbing my floorpump to top off my tires I brushed a lantern that turned out to be the sleeping quarters for a whole mess ‘o green lacewings, all of which flitted away with the exception of this one at right that settled on a column and allowed me to snap its moment in the sun (click for humongification):

With that I have a few fun facts I found out about green lacewings (but I’ll drop them in after the jump in case this crap bores you senseless because what you’re really looking for is another recap from some festival that happened last week down in Indio):

• Green Lacewings are widely used in various situations to control many different pests. Adults (such as the one pictured) actually subsist on foods such as nectar, pollen and honeydew. It is their predacious offspring — called aphid lions — that wreak all the gory havoc described in the next nugget.

• Lacewing larvae voraciously attack their prey by seizing them with large, sucking jaws and injecting a paralyzing venom. The hollow jaws then draw out the body fluids of the pest. Lacewing larvae feed on many different pest insects. In general, they attack the eggs and the immature stages of most soft-bodied pests such as: aphids, thrips, spider mites, sweet potato & greenhouse whitefly, mealybugs, leafhoppers, and the eggs and caterpillars of most pest moths.

Each lacewing larva will devour 200 or more pests or pest eggs a week during their two to three week developmental period. After this stage, the larvae pupate by spinning a cocoon with silken thread. Approximately five days later adult lacewings emerge to mate and repeat the life cycle. Depending on climatic conditions, the adult will live about four to six weeks. Each adult female may deposit more than 200 eggs.

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