RSPB
Skip navigation
Print page

Lacewing

Insect

Lacewings usually have bright green bodies, prominent, golden, metallic eyes and green veins on delicate, transparent wings. However some species are browner in colour.

There are 14 species of lacewing in the UK, although they are less common in Scotland. Both the adults and larvae are carnivorous and often feast on aphids. The larvae suck the aphids’ juices and may even use the drained bodies to hide under.

Female lacewings lay each egg on a thread of mucus that hardens in the air, leaving the egg on a slender stalk. Generally some adults hibernate, although many perish. 

Lacewing larvae can be purchased via mail order as biological pest control for your garden.

What does it eat?

Adults and larvae eat aphids and other small insect pests. Adults may also drink nectar.

When will I see it?

Generally at night (but also by day) from May to August.

Where will I see it?

Throughout the garden. Often enters houses. Also in parks, meadows and woods.

Vital statistics

Length: Up to 20mm
Wingspan: Up to 40mm

Calendar

Not seen in JanuaryNot seen in FebruaryNot seen in MarchNot seen in AprilSeen in MaySeen in JuneSeen in JulySeen in AugustNot seen in SeptemberNot seen in OctoberNot seen in NovemberNot seen in December

Key to calendar

Food