Looking like tiny ‘alligators‘, lacewing larvae voraciously attack almost any prey they can grab, using pincer-like jaws. After injecting a paralyzing venom, they suck the body fluids from their helpless victim. During the 2-3 weeks it takes lacewings to develop through the larval stage, they'll eat up to 200 aphids or other insect eggs, larvae, and adults a week, growing up to 1/2" long in the process. Then, they spin a silky cocoon, pupate a few days, and hatch into a beautiful yet fragile, light green adult lacewing with large, shiny eyes. Adults range in size from ½-3/4" long, and feed only on honeydew, nectar, and pollen. Adults live 4-6 weeks during which time females lay up to 200 eggs. Lacewing eggs are ‘planted’ on foliage at the ends of short filaments, apparently as a means of protection. In a few days, more lacewing larvae hatch out.
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Wildlife and nature
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