Bug of the Week: Brown Lacewing?

Do you remember the beautiful, delicate green lacewings from a few weeks ago? Today we have a relative, the brown lacewing. Or at least, that’s what I think it is.

We noticed these small brown insects on our hollyhocks.


It is less than half the size of the brown lacewings we usually have in our yard.


Do you see it’s long neck and protruding eyes? What do you think the light-colored object is that is sticking out from its head? (see below*)

Brown lacewing larvae feed on aphids, scales and other small insects. Their habits are similar to the green lacewing. They also lay eggs on a hairlike stalk.

* Those are the lacewing’s antennae. They were stuck in the plant hairs on the hollyhock leaf, but this one was eventually able to work itself free. Other insects are not always so lucky.

Post on green lacewing life cycle showing photos of all the stages.


  1. Jim Davis

    This is definitely a brown lacewing adult. One of the interesting things about the brown lacewings is that the adults are also predatory, unlike those of the green lacewing, which eat only nectar and pollen.

  2. Roberta

    That is good to know, thank you. Its “neck” looked weird to me, but I think it was just because its antennae were caught.

  3. John Oswald

    Sympherobius sp. (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae), either barberi or amiculus

  4. Roberta


    Thank you for the identification.

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