Chrysoperla carnea

    Description

    This is the most common of our green lacewings and the only one to hibernate. Late in the season it loses the green pigment and becomes straw coloured. It often has a pale strip along its dorsal surface and also has hairy veins on its wings, can just be seen with a hand lens.

    Similar Species

    There are several other green lacewings so identification normally requires close examination of the specimen.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance
    • wings all green or pale (may be few dark cross-veins)
    • wing veins hairy (in fresh specimens)
    • apex of cell IMC not reaching, or coinciding with, cross-vein RMCV
    • only UK hibernating lacewing so if found in winter it will be this species

    carnea

    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

    Habitat

    Various habitats, often entering houses as it prepares for hibernation, and on summer evenings when it is attracted to lights.

    When to see it

    All year round hibernating in winter with the peak time being May to August.

    Life History

    A predator of aphids.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland although exact status is difficult to determine as C. lucasina and C. carnea were only separated in the 1990s.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+  2015-2019  pre 2015

    UK Map