Green Lacewing Pupation

Asked December 27, 2016, 5:00 PM EST

I have seen what I believe to be green lacewing larvae on an oak tree in my yard. They are camouflaged with a roughly 5 mm diameter disk of lichen. If I am correct, since they are predators, I am interested in not hindering their development.

The oak tree is banded so as to catch canker worms, and all the lacewing larvae I have seen are below the banding. Where do they go to pupate? Do they go up into the branches, or down to the ground, I haven't yet seen any get stuck on the banding, but they are hanging out pretty close to it.


Alec Martin

Gaston County North Carolina green lacewing pest issues

10 Responses

Hi Alec,

Green Lacewings do overwinter in the pupae stage, often in tree bark crevices. So it is possible that's what you are seeing. Since the lacewings won't move during the pupae stage and will emerge as flying adults in the spring, they shouldn't be crawling up the tree where your sticky tree bands are. It's possible that lacewing larvae could get caught on the bands when they are looking for spots to pupate on the tree. However, as long as you remove the bands in the Spring (April), that shouldn't be a problem. Check out this link for some more useful information about the green lacewing.

Thanks, that's a big help, and a relief.

David, Is the camouflage on the larvae really lichen as I thought it was, or is it a covering that they grow themselves? Thanks again for your help.

Without a photo, I'm not able to tell. If you can take a clear, up-close photo and upload it to this thread, I'll check it out. Thanks - David

David, Here a couple of pretty detailed close-ups. This one as well as a number of others id still, so he may have just pupated, However, on previous days they were all moving around, and today I did see one still crawling around. Hope this helps.

Hi - I tried to get some specialist help last week, but haven't gotten a response, so you'll have to settle for my opinion. It is true that Green Lacewing larvae will sometimes attach debris to their bodies as a camouflage. here is a photo:

Is the entire clump that you show in the photo is moving around, or did you see insects emerging from the clump?

The entire clump moves around. I've also noticed that the have some affinity for canker worm egg masses deposited on the bands. Dining, perhaps?

I have a detailed, close-up video, roughly a minute long of one walking arount the oak trunk. Really interesting.

That is very interesting. I just got off the phone with our NC State entomologist and he agreed that is likely to be the larvae of the lacewing. It is a little unusual for the larvae to be active this time of year, but he said that with the warm weather, they have been seeing quite a bit of early insect activity this winter.

The lacewings are not picky eaters. They will consume a wide range of insect adults, larvae, and eggs.

Don't know if you can see it or not, but I have the video posted on facebook in an album titled 'Bugs'.

I just found your video and shared it to our Extension Facebook page. Thanks!