I found these strange eggs on the under surface of Oleander (Nerium oleander) leaf next to my house. Each egg was attached to the top of a hair-like filament. I had not seen such an egg laying on filamentous structure and on searching for info I found that it was from Lacewing (Chrysopidae). I used Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM on Canon EOS 5D mark II illuminated using Rayflash on Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash.
In another few days the eggs will hatch and a tiny predatory larva emerges ready to eat the pests in my garden. Lacewing larvae are also known as aphid lions. Oval shaped eggs are laid singly at the end of long silken stalks and are pale green, turning pale gray in several days. The larvae, which are very active, are gray or brownish and alligator-like with well-developed legs and large pincers with which they suck the body fluids from prey. Larvae grow from <1 mm to 6-8 mm. Lacewing larvae voraciously attack their prey by seizing them with large, sucking jaws and inject a paralyzing venom. The hollow jaws then draw out the body fluids of the pest. Of all available commercial predators, lacewings are the most voracious and has the greatest versatility for pests of field crops, orchards, and greenhouses. They are one of the best biological pesticides for your garden. Reason for that filamentous structure may be to prevent emerging larva from cannibalizing each other. Each lacewing larva will devour 200 or more pests or pest eggs a week during their two to three week developmental period. After this stage, the larvae pupate by spinning a cocoon with silken thread. Approximately five days later adult lacewings emerge to mate and repeat the life cycle. Depending on climatic conditions, the adult will live about four to six weeks. [caption id="attachment_1984" align="alignleft" width="500" caption="Lacewing Eggs"][/caption]
Each adult female may deposit more than 200 eggs. For best results, habitats should be provided that encourage the adults to remain and reproduce in the release area. Nectar, pollen, and honeydew stimulate their reproductive process. If these food sources are not available, adults may disperse.
Lacewing larvae feed on many different pest insects. In general, they attack the eggs and the immature stages of most soft-bodied pests such as: aphids, thrips, spider mites, sweet potato & greenhouse whitefly, mealybugs, leafhoppers, and the eggs and caterpillars of most moths.
Adult green lacewings are pale green, about 12-20 mm long, with long antennae and bright, golden eyes. They have large, transparent, pale green wings and a delicate body. Adults are active fliers, particularly during the evening and night and have a characteristic, fluttering flight.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/10 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 7 February, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 13° 4′ 1.7997600119994″ N 74° 59′ 44.314800313234″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.