Lacewings, hemerobes and coniopterygids


The neuroptera also called Planipennes have two pairs of well-developed wings, with a very tight network of veins, wings lying in a roof on the body at rest. The single-eyed larvae are carnivorous and have long, canaliculate mandibles.

Among the neuroptera of interest to the vineyard, we mainly consider Chrysopidae (lacewings), Hemerobiidae (hemerobes) and Coniopterygidae (coniopterygidae).


  • Chrysopides

There are several dozen species of Chrysopidae in France, several of which have been described in the vineyard ( Chrysopa perla, Chysoperla carnea, C. lucasina, C. affinis, Pseudomallada prasinus , etc.). The imagos or adults are of variable size (between 18 and 53 mm), often green in color, sometimes brown or dark. The eyes are hemispherical and very prominent, the antennae are filiform and long. The wings are transparent with conspicuous veins, without ornamentation. These adults feed mainly on pollen and nectar (figure 1), but also on honeydew (aphids, scale insects) and their presence is linked to the floristic environment of the vineyard.

Lacewing spawns are characteristic, with white, ovoid eggs placed at the end of a long filament (Figure 2).

The larvae measure between 2 and 8 mm, with a fusiform body adorned with erect bristles. They are light green to yellowish in color with often two darker longitudinal bands (Figure 3). They pass through three larval stages, the last of which spins a cocoon (figure 4) which shelters the prepupa then the pupa which emerges from the cocoon and is mobile before rapidly transforming into an adult. The larvae of Pseudomallada sp. are covered with debris and the remains of their prey (Figure 5). The larvae of all species of Chrysopidae are predatory, their mouth parts having the shape of hooks hollowed out of two channels which make it possible to seize the prey (figure 3) then by injection of venom to absorb the tissues of the dissolved prey. The food spectrum of larvae is diverse: caterpillars budworm , mealybugs , larvae Drosophila . On the other hand, the presence of these larvae is quite discreet in the vineyard.

The form of overwintering depends on the species. All species are generally multivoltine, but the number of generations depends on climatic conditions. In the vineyards of southern France, lacewings overwinter in dry, dark places, under dead leaves, litter or bark, and are common in unheated buildings. They migrate in the spring from their overwintering sites to agroecosystems to find food resources and reproduce, then return in the fall to their overwintering sites (Figure 6).


  • Hemerobidae

Adults of Hemerobidae are brown in color, with wings often adorned with darker spots. Their wingspan is about 15 mm (figure 7). The eggs are whitish but without peduncle and fixed singly or in small groups.

The larvae resemble those of lacewings but smaller. Pupation takes place in a slightly elongated cocoon formed on the plant or at the foot of the latter in the moss. These insects, especially subservient to trees, are very active and consume insects with flexible integuments such as certain species of cochineals , mites or young caterpillars .


  • Coniopterigidae

Coniopterygidae are very small insects of a few millimeters, whose wings are covered with a white-gray bloom (Figure 8).

The eggs are flattened and without pedicels, arranged singly or in small groups on the bark or foliage. The larvae, which are 3-4 mm long, are stocky with hairy antennae. The pupation cocoon observed on plants is flattened.

Both larvae and adults consume the eggs, larvae and adults of small insects or mites with soft integuments. Adults also feed on honeydew produced by other insects such as mealybugs .



Serée L, Rusch A, Rouzes R, el Mir M (2019) Study of lacewing populations in vineyards. Phytoma, 720, 39-43

Sentenac. G (2011), Auxiliary fauna of the vineyards of France, Eds France Agricole-Dunod.

Classification : Animalia, Arthropoda, Insecta, Neuroptera
English name: common lacewings

Last change : 04/19/21
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