Subject: Three Lacewing larvae attacking Oleander aphids…
March 19, 2013 8:05 pm
I took this picture of three lacewing larvae attacking a colony of Oleander aphids right before I blasted them off my milkweed plant with the hose last August here in Chicago.
Thanks for sending us an awesome documentary photo, but you have misidentified the predators. While Lacewing Larvae are known to feed ravenously on Aphids, these are actually Syrphid Fly Larvae. Adults are often called Hover Flies or Flower Flies. While we commend your use of a hose to remove the Aphids, a greener alternative than pesticides, we would like to offer our perspective. By hosing off the Aphids, you also removed the predators. We would have let nature take its course on this leaf, and we believe the Syrphid Larvae would have eaten all the Aphids in the vicinity. The Flies would then have matured and produced a new generation of predators and if you have a properly balanced garden with predator species, the need to control Aphids in the future might become an unnecessary action. We would have hosed off Aphids from plants that had no predators nearby.