Neuroptera : Chrysopidae



The Chrysopidae are holometabolous insects (with complete metamorphosis).
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The adults are elongate, around 20 mm, and show different characteristics:

- color: varies from brown to bright green,
- eyes: protruding and golden,
- antennae: long and filiform with numerous segments, not reaching beyond length of wings,
- mouthparts: grinding type (the larva possesses hooks formed by the combination of mandibles and maxillae which between them fashion a salivary canal. The saliva injected into the prey allows preliminary digestion of tissues before being sucked up).
- wings: hyaline, traversed by a network of veins delimiting hexagonal cells. At rest they are set roof-like on the abdomen.


All the species produce two or three generations per year. The female can lay several hundred eggs in 2 or 3 months. They are fixed on the vegetation by a fine peduncle (8-10 mm) either individually or in a group. The larva is highly active and a formidable predator and can consume up to 500 aphids in the course of its development. Metamorphosis takes place in a white cocoon. In some species, the adults feed on living prey, but most eat honeydew and pollen. Overwintering proceeds in the adult (Chrysoperla) or pre-nymphal stage (Chrysopa).


They are generalist predators at every stage (Chrysopa) or only at the larval stage (Chrysoperla). The larvae move around on or under the leaves searching for food.


Distinguishing between the genera Chrysopa and Chrysoperla is difficult. However, certain species of Chrysopa are marked with black (head, pronotum and wing veins) whereas Chrysoperla or common lacewings are completely green (at least in summer); eyes golden metallic.

Some species :

See also

Çaldumbide C., Faessel L., Travers M., Thierry D., Rat-Morris E., 2001. Les chrysopes communes, auxiliaires polyvalents. Phytoma. La défense des végétaux, 540 14-19

Canard M., Thierry D., Cloupeau R., 2002. Les chrysopes vertes communes comme prédateurs dans les cultures : mais quelles chrysopes ? 2ème conférence internationale sur les moyens alternatifs de lutte contre les organismes nuisibles aux végétaux Lille 572-578

Principi M. M., Canard M., 1974. Les Névroptères : Les organismes auxiliaires en verger de pommiers. OILB/SROP 151-162

Modification date: 24 April 2024 | Publication date: 30 June 2011 | By: Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet