Green lacewings (Family: Chrysopidae). Adult green lacewings are generally about ¾” long with light green bodies and delicate wings that are often the same color.
Though often overlooked, lacewings are awesome beneficials that feed on many soft bodied insects. The larvae are voracious predators as well!
Typically greater in numbers spring through fall, depending on your location. In a greenhouse setting, they can be used year round.
Worldwide in temperate and tropical areas.
Like most insects, green lacewings appreciate areas with plenty of resources. Tomato plants provide plenty of shelter and often plenty of food for growing lacewing larvae!
While the larvae are primarily predators, the adults are omnivores. They will feed on insects but they also appreciate flowers that provide plenty of nectar and pollen. Make sure to also have plenty of designated areas for them to hide and watering dishes to provide much needed drinks. Beneficial insects such as lacewings are vulnerable to toxic pesticides, so use these sparingly if at all. A couple of species are available commercially for purchase as eggs, nymphs, and adults.
Lacewings are a part of the order Neuroptera which also includes insects such as antlions and mantidflies. Like butterflies, beetles, and flies they go through complete metamorphosis (egg—larva—pupa—adult). The pupal stage is usually covered in a silk structure, so keep an eye out while tending to your plants!