lacewing

/lays"wing'/, n.
any of several insects of the family Chrysopidae, having delicate, lacelike wings and golden or copper-colored eyes, the larvae of which are predaceous on aphids and other small insects.
[1850-55; LACE + WING]

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Any of numerous species of insects in the order Neuroptera, especially those in the green lacewing and brown lacewing families.

The green lacewing has long, delicate antennae, a slender greenish body, golden-or copper-coloured eyes, and two pairs of veined wings. It is found worldwide and flies near grasses and shrubs. It is also known as a stinkfly because it emits a disagreeable odour. The larva, with prominent sucking mouthparts, drains body fluids from aphids and other soft-bodied insects. The brown lacewing resembles the green lacewing but is smaller and brown.

Lacewing (Chrysopa)

A.E.Mc.R. Pearce
Bruce Coleman Ltd.

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insect
 any of a group of insects that are characterized by a complex network of wing veins that give them a lacy appearance. The most common lacewings are in the green lacewing family, Chrysopidae, and the brown lacewing family, Hemerobiidae. The green lacewing, sometimes known as the golden-eyed lacewing, has long delicate antennae, a slender greenish body, golden- or copper-coloured eyes, and two pairs of similar veined wings. It is worldwide in distribution and flies near grasses and shrubs. The lacewing is also known as a stinkfly because it emits a disagreeable odour as a protective device. The female green lacewing secretes slender stalks and deposits one egg on top of each stalk. This prevents the predatory larvae from devouring unhatched eggs. The larva, often called an aphidlion, has prominent sucking mouthparts and well-developed legs. These capture and drain body fluids from aphids and other soft-bodied insects. After about two weeks of continuous feeding, the larva spins a silken, pearl-sized cocoon on the underside of a leaf and remains in the pupal case approximately two weeks before emerging as an adult. Adults are generally 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 inches) in length.

      The brown lacewing resembles the green lacewing but is smaller in size, brown in colour, may have dark spots on the wings, and does not secrete stalks for its eggs. Some lacewing larvae hold debris (including the bodies of their victims) on their backs with hooks or bristles. This camouflage allows the lacewing larva to surprise its victims and also protects it from enemies.

      This order of insects frequently includes the snakeflies (Raphidiodea) and the dobsonflies and alderflies (Megaloptera).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lacewing — Lace wing (l[=a]s w[i^]ng ), n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of neuropterous insects of the genus {Chrysopa} and allied genera. They have delicate, lacelike wings and brilliant eyes. Their larv[ae] are useful in destroying aphids. Called …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lacewing — [lās′wiŋ΄] n. any of various families of neuropteran insects with four delicate, gauzy wings: the larvae feed on aphids and other insect pests …   English World dictionary

  • lacewing — noun Date: 1854 any of various neuropterous insects (as genera Chrysopa and Hemerobius) having delicate lacelike wing venation, usually long antennae, and often brilliant eyes called also lacewing fly …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lacewing — noun /ˈleɪs.wɪŋ/ Any of several gauzy winged insects of the families Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae. Syn: lacewing fly …   Wiktionary

  • lacewing — n. type of insect which has delicate lacelike wings …   English contemporary dictionary

  • lacewing — noun a slender delicate insect with large clear membranous wings, predatory on aphids. [Chrysopidae (green lacewings) and other families.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • lacewing — lace•wing [[t]ˈleɪsˌwɪŋ[/t]] n. ent any of several slender green neuropteran insects of the family Chrysopidae, with transparent wings …   From formal English to slang

  • lacewing — /ˈleɪswɪŋ/ (say layswing) noun any of various neuropterous insects, with delicate lacelike wings, whose larvae prey chiefly on aphids …   Australian English dictionary

  • lacewing — n. a neuropterous insect …   Useful english dictionary

  • lacewing fly — noun any of two families of insects with gauzy wings (Chrysopidae and Hemerobiidae); larvae feed on insect pests such as aphids • Syn: ↑lacewing • Hypernyms: ↑neuropteron, ↑neuropteran, ↑neuropterous insect • Hyponyms: ↑green …   Useful english dictionary

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