Adult green lacewings are slender, light green, ½- to ¾-inch long, with two pairs of large, clear, highly veined wings and golden eyes. They often fly in the evening or at night. Larvae, 1/8- to 4/5-inch long, resemble tiny, light-brown alligators.
Green lacewings overwinter as adults, generally in leaf litter. They lay their tiny oblong eggs at the ends of long, silken stalks. Larvae emerge in about 4-10 days and the larval stage lasts two to three weeks.
Adult green lacewings feed on aphid honeydew, nectar, pollen, and plant fluids, although some species consume a few small insects. Their larvae-also called “aphid lions”-feed primarily on aphids, capturing them with their large pincers and sucking out their body fluids. During several stages of larval development, a single lacewing can consume as many as 750 aphids. Larvae also feed on leafhoppers, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, psyllids, whiteflies, small caterpillars, immature plant bugs, and other small insects.