Giant orange lacewing







Nymphes myrmeleonoides

Blue eyes lacewing


This is quite a large lacewing with very large dark blue eyes. Its body is a bright orange with dark bands on the lower abdomen. It has the characteristic large, delicate-looking, lacy wings which fold along its body. This lacewing is very much like the orange caterpillar-parasite wasp which has much shorter wings and a much skinnier body with a tiny wasp waist. Both are beneficial. The larvae are very ferocious and have long hairs on their back allowing them to carry their dead prey around, which may act like a camouflage. They live on the ground amongst the leaf litter hunting smaller insects. They have strong, prominent jaws with which to capture their prey.

Adult size: 30 mm

Out and about

found all year round in warmer climates. Native to Australia they are found along the east coast of Australia from north Queensland to Tasmania.

Reproduction and Life cycle

The female lays her eggs in a horseshoe shape with one egg placed horizontally and the one next to it vertically. Each egg is on an individual, stalk but they look like they are joined together. It is thought that this is to stop the larvae from eating each other rather than protection from other predators. The larvae go through a number of instars before pupating It takes approximately one month from egg to adult, so there can be quite a few generations each year, and it is possible for all stages to survive over winter.

To deter

To control

Plants to repel

Plants to attract

Alyssum / Angelica / Caraway / Carrot / Coriander / Daisy family (Coreopsis) / Dill / Fennel / Heather / Oleander / Queen Anne’s lace / Red and white cosmos (Bipinnatus) / Tansy / Yellow yarrow


Why they are Beneficial
Both the adult and the larvae are predators. The adults will also feed on honeydew and pollen. Larvae feed on scale, aphids, mites, moth eggs, caterpillars, scale insects, thrips, soft-bodied insects and also on some adult pests if they are not too hard. If there are no insects to prey on they will eat each other. They inject venom into their prey and suck up the body fluids