Mugshot and Attacks:
Crime starts at a young age. Green Lacewing larvae - which have been nicknamed "Aphid Lions"- will carry debris and carcass' of their past victims on their backs. This also acts as camouflage and makes them more dangerous to their prey. Green Lacewing larvae will inject paralyzing venom into their prey, then suck all the bodily fluids out of them. Those in danger of the larvae are aphids, mites, flies, thrips, leafhoppers, caterpillars and eggs of butterflies.
Larvae aren't the only ones to look out for. Full grown adults can be dangerous too. In this picture, the suspect is seen eating aphids, which they can eat about 200 of each week. Their most common victims besides aphids are mites and a wide variety of soft-bodied insects, including insect eggs, thrips, mealybugs, immature whiteflies, and small caterpillars.
Anatomy of a Lacewing:
Green Lacewings are prey to crab spiders, orbweaver spiders, jumping spiders, ants, dragonflies, insect-eating birds, and bats. To protect themselves, the larvae have paralyzing venom. The adults have evolved a defense mechanism where they can hear the sound waves of their most common predator, bats.
Green Lacewings can be found all around America. There are about 90 species of them all over the U.S. The eggs can be spotted hanging underneath a leaf attached to a long stalk to prevent from cannibalism once the eggs hatch since the larvae are very cannibalistic.
Green Lacewings of any age may also be found in gardens. People will buy eggs, larvae, or adult lacewings to prevent and get rid of pests. Most often, the larvae will be bought for this reason since they are ferocious predators.
How to prevent an attack:
Often times, lacewings aren't harmful to humans. However, lacewings may accidentally bite a human while gardening since they don't tend to stray from their home plants. A small, itchy red bump (much like a mosquito bite) will occur but will typically go away in 24 hours.
Mikayla Ganan. Zoology period 1.
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