Green lacewing larva eating an aphid
Location: Naperville, IL
May 9, 2012 8:02 pm
It’s bug season once more! I have lacewing eggs all over my 2-foot-tall milkweed, and the little aphid lions are busily eating their preferred prey. Here are a few shots from today of one that was moving pretty quickly, all the while sucking its victim dry. I am not sure of the identity of the critter under the larva’s front left leg in the first photo.
All the best,
Signature: -Dori Eldridge
We are happy warm weather has hit Illinois because we always love getting your submissions. We couldn’t decide which of your three photos was the best documentation of this predation, so we are posting one where the Green Lacewing Larva’s formidable mandibles can be clearly seen and another where the Aphid is clearly visible. Meanwhile, we need to go outside and remove Milkweed Aphids from our native milkweed. The proliferation of oleander in Los Angeles sustains the Aphids when milkweed is not available.
Thanks so much, Daniel. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your site and your insight. By the way, how do you remove your problem aphids? On my hibiscus trees, I just use the garden sprayer set a notch or two below power wash. But on the milkweed plants, where I have to be selective, I actually remove those orange oleander aphids by hand with a damp rag. If I ignore the aphids too long, my plants become overrun by ants – not a good thing when trying to raise Monarchs. I’ve collected nearly 100 Monarch eggs in the last 24 hours! Have a lovely evening, and happy spring!
The plants are young native Narrow-Leafed Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis, and there are no caterpillars at this point, so I sprayed the Aphids with a water bottle that had a small quantity of liquid dish soap. The Argentine Ants move the Aphids about and that invasive exotic ant species is a huge problem here in Southern California.