Lacewing — Green lacewings are insects in the very large family Chrysopidae of the order Neuroptera. There are three subfamilies (Apochrysinae, Nothochrysinae and Chrysopinae), 87 genera and about 1,300 species.
Lacewings are widespread insects; the genus Chrysoperla is very common in North America. Their larvae are voracious predators, attacking most insects of suitable size, especially soft-bodied ones (aphids, caterpillars and other insect larvae, insect eggs). Adults use substrate vibrations as a form of communication, especially during courtship; species which are nearly identical morphologically may sometimes be separated more easily based on their mating signals.
In several countries, millions of lacewings are reared for sale as biological control agents of insect and mite pests in agriculture and gardens. They are distributed as eggs, since they are highly aggressive and cannibalistic. The eggs hatch in the field, originating the predatory larvae. Their performance is variable; thus, there is a lot of interest on further improvement of the use of lacewings as biological pest control.