Family: ChrysopidaeSubfamily: Chrysopinae
Length: typically 12-14 mm
The larvae of Chrysopa are called by the common name aphislions, and are economically beneficial insects that help keep the number of Aphids in check.
Chrysopa oculata is the most common lacewing in West Virginia and the surrounding region. Look for a red spot between the antennae, and paired black spots on the vertex. When the insect is viewed in profile, there is a black crescent below each eye, and a broad, dark band below the antennal sockets.
Because this species exhibits some variation, particularly from locality to locality, it has been described numerous times as a "new species," only to have the new name synonomized with Chrysopa oculata when it became apparent the differences were not significant. This scenario has repeated itself some seventeen times!
Chrysopa oculata is a meadow species that prefers low perches. It reportedly passes through three generations per year in New England.
A note about our maps
Insects of West Virginia