Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Nothochrysa californica Banks
The red & black color pattern on the head is quite distinctive:
Antennae black, slightly shorter than the wings. Pronotum relatively long, gradually widening towards posterior end, reddish-brown with narrow, pale, medial and lateral stripes. Abdominal segments dark with pale apical bands. Abdomen shorter than the wings. Wing venation dipicted in Fig. 3 of Adams(1967)
and Fig. 2 of Bickley & MacLeod(1956)
(though note that minor variation can occur in wing venation patterns in neuropterans).
Detailed descriptions of the adult can be read in Banks(1892)
, and Adams(1967)
...they describe the body ground color as black, but many live individuals have much of the thorax and (especially the sides of the) abdomen dark reddish-brown (or "maroon
Detailed descriptions of each of the three larval instars can be found on pp. 409-416 of Toschi(1965)
, with more info plus high-resolution photos on pp. 9-14 of Tauber & Faulkner(2015)
As of 11/23/19, the southernmost BugGuide post
is from between Cambria and Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County, and among the CA records from the California Academy of Sciences
, the southernmost record is from Gaviota Pass in Santa Barbara County (see here
). There is also a Flickr post from San Marcos Pass
in Santa Barbara County, east (and a tiny bit north) of the Gaviota Pass record. The locality info on the type specimen states "Los Angeles Co." and a Ventura Co. sighting was posted on iNaturalist in 2020
, just west of LA County line.
It appears that currently the easternmost CA record is from Pacific House
in El Dorado County in coniferous habitat on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. All other current CA records appear to occur west of the crests of the coastal ranges.
Mostly found in mesic (= medium moisture/humidity) woodlands or chaparral on the coastal side of main mountain ranges along the western edge of North America from British Columbia to south-central California.
Larvae have been found on Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) and California Bay Tree (Umbellularia californica).
Like many lacewing larvae, those of N. californica
carry "debris" on their dorsum as camouflage. Detailed life history info can be found on pp. 426-429 of Toschi(1965)
Banks's orignal 1892 description can be read at this link
Adams, P. A. (1967). A review of the Mesochrysinae and Nothochrysinae (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard Coll., 135(4):215-238 (Full Text
Banks, Nathan (1892). A synopsis, catalogue, and bibliography of the neuropteroid insects of temperate North America. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc., 19:327-373 (Full Text
Bickley, W.E. & E.G. MacLeod (1956). A synopsis of the nearctic Chrysopidae with a key to the genera. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Washington, 58: 177-202. (Full Text
Brooks, S. J. & P. C. Barnard (1990). The green lace wings of the world: a generic review (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.), 59(2):117-286 (Full Text
MacGillivray, A. D. (1894). New species of Nothochrysa
. Canad. Ent. 26:169-171 (Full Text
Tauber, Catherine A. and David K. Faulkner (2015). Pimachrysa
(Neuroptera: Chrysopidae: Nothochrysinae): Larval Description and Support for Generic Relationships,” Psyche, vol. 2015, Article ID 875738, 19 pages. (HTML
...cf. pp. 9-14 for info on larvae of N. californica
Toschi, C. A. (1965). The taxonomy, life histories, and mating behavior of the green lacewings of Strawberry Canyon (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Hilgardia, 36(11):391-433 (Full Text