(This post originally published in September 2010)
On my my last trip to the Prairie Meadow, I found this interesting creature, a Green Lacewing (Chrysopa spp.) that was meandering around a Goldenrod plant:
When making an identification on this creature, I found some interesting facts about it. There are dozens of American and Canadian species and only a specialist (certainly not me!) can distinguish the differences. The Lacewings range in length from ~3/8 to 5/8 inches long (10-15 mm) and body color ranges from pale yellow to pale green. The threadlike antennae is ~ 2/3 body length. Wings are clear with green veins and are at least 1/4 longer than body length. They live in meadows, gardens and forest edges. Favorite food is small insects, especially aphids and nymphs of scale insects. One species, the California Green Lacewing, is found west of the Rocky Mountains and is raised indoors by the thousands for release into greenhouses and vineyards, where they prey on destructive mealybugs. Fascinating little insect!