Tinkerbell Insect
Location: burbs north of Atlanta
May 2, 2012 7:03 am
First, I promise this is not unnecessary carnage, the tiny beauty was found already expired. My mother came home and found this delicate creature dead on her kitchen counter. She knew my kids and I would love to study her so she preserved her for us. Her iridescent wings and bright green body were so captivating we dubbed her Tinkerbell. Can you help us identify what she is? I’ve included a photo alongside a penny for size reference. She was a little shy for that angle, though.
Signature: Resa

Green Lacewing

Hi Resa,
Thanks for submitting your charming letter and photo.  This is a Green Lacewing, a beneficial predator whose delicate appearance belies its ravenous hunting skills.  Lacewings are one of the primary predators of agricultural pests like Aphids.  Though Lady Bugs get more attention, Lacewings probably do more to control Aphid infestations.  The larvae of Lacewings are known as Aphid Wolves or sometimes Aphid Lions according to Merriam Webster.  Adult Green Lacewings are often attracted to lights.

Location: Georgia

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