Chrysoperla carnea - Chrysoperla carnea group


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. NBN carries a note on the page for this species:-  Until recently C. carnea was considered a single Holarctic species distributed across North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia (Chapman et al. 2006). Now this species has been split into a complex of cryptic sibling species, and range limits for the individual species are not yet clear (Henry et al. 2002).

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


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.


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.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map