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Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis.

Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis.
Raleigh, near Rts 50 and US 70, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
November 16, 2009
I have seen separated stalked eggs in my yard that I was confident were lacewing eggs from the photos on this site. But who lays these eggs that have similar size and stalk length but look more oval and are clumped like a bouquet of flowers? A half dozen of these clumps of eggs appeared in areas protected from rain on the glass of a window and on the nearby clapboards of the house. Once I noticed them, no more appeared.

Images of this individual: tag all
Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis. Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis. Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis. Whose eggs are these? Chrysopidae. See Leucochrysa insularis.

Moved from Green Lacewings.

Moved from ID Request.

Similar 'bouquets"
are pictured in the Guide and are identified as lacewing eggs.

A comment attached to the first image states, "Stalked eggs like these are unique to green lacewings."

Not just green lacewings
Owlflies also have stalked eggs, so it's probably a more general neuropteran trait. As to what lays eggs in bunches like this- I have no clue

Stalked eggs
As noted below, owlfly eggs are not stalked. It is not a general neuropteran trait. My comment about stalks like this being unique was not entirely correct, however. Beaded lacewing eggs (based on, if I recall, one laboratory observation) are deposited in a similar cluster, atop what appears to be a single long stalk. Beaded lacewings are very rare and their larvae are termite specialists, so their eggs are presumably laid on rotting wood. The only other North American neuropterans known to have stalked eggs are mantidflies. Their eggs are very numerous and on extremely short stalks, nothing like this.

Thank you, Charley. Some comments:
1. So this egg laying pattern is necessary but not sufficient to identify the eggs to Chrysopidae » Leucochrysa » Leucochrysa insularis ? At what level shall I put the photos?

2. I saw your comment on the beaded lacewing eggs being presumably laid on rotting wood. One thing we have in our yard is termites galore anytime you pick up a rock or piece of wood. We had them in this sheltered alcove 20 years ago, under the brick stoop and in a fascia board. Maybe I should worry again :). I say this because there is nothing alive (brick or cement) for 15 feet, overhanging trees included, at this location yet there were 6 or 7 of these egg clusters attached to glass and clapboards, but none where rain could reach. Why wouldn't the adults fly to select a spot to lay their eggs? Or do the larvae need to drop right onto feeding grounds?

My thoughts...
Well, with a sample size of 1, I can't say for sure that Leucochrysa insularis eggs are always laid with this arrangement, but it's my strong suspicion that this is typical for that species. I definitely don't have enough information to say that's the only species that does this. These could be placed in Neuroptera with 100% certainty, or in Chrysopidae with near 100% certainty (just based on the rarity of beaded lacewings). If the eggs have been there for more than 24 hours, you can rule out beaded lacewing because at that point their eggs would show the dark horizontal stripes of the larvae developing inside. Given the abundance of termites in your area, perhaps it would be wise to call them unidentified Neuropteran eggs unless you know you photographed them after they had been there a day.

I've seen many, many green lacewing eggs, and in only one case did they seem deliberately placed near an obvious food source (aphid colony). I've found them on tree bark, garbage cans, the wheel of my car, etc. I often see them on the sides of houses where the females have been attracted to lights. Could that be what happened here?

Can you send a reference, Chuck?
Don't see stalks in
Owlfly eggs and hatchlings - Ululodes

Chrysopidae eggs:
Except for these photos I can find no other printed or internet reference to green lacewing eggs except as being on separate spaced stalks. My examples appear to be stalks extruded separately but attached to the substrate too close together to stay separate. The two that you and I saw appear to be a cluster on one stalk.
Is this pattern genus-specific?
I'm hoping that Charley Eiseman will comment. And I'm hoping he'll address this finding in his upcoming book on insect signs!

Chrysopid egg bundles
These eggs

are linked with certainty to a green lacewing, Leucochrysa insularis. Mark Fox made this discovery after my last chance to edit my manuscript, so this name is not mentioned but there will be a similar photo of unidentified green lacewing eggs in my book. If I remember correctly, I too was unable to find any references in literature to green lacewing eggs bunched together like this. I have collected a similar set of eggs and had the larvae survive long enough to determine that they were green lacewings of the debris-carrying sort, but they didn't survive to adulthood. To my knowledge, lacewing species are consistent in the arrangement of their eggs, but whether these bundles are characteristic of just this species, this genus, or some other grouping, I don't know and I suppose no one will for sure until every green lacewing's eggs have been described.

If you look closely at the other egg clusters in the thumbnails above, you'll see that they are in fact multiple stalks closely wound together, although in one case this is only evident at the very base of the stalks.

1. So this egg laying pattern is necessary but not sufficient to identify the eggs to Chrysopidae » Leucochrysa » Leucochrysa insularis ? At what level shall I put the photos?

2. I have one photo of a lacewing on the same piece of glass as two of the egg clusters, but 2 weeks later at night. Since I took the photo from inside, it's a ventral view so the distinctive thoracic growths don't show. I would never have picked out the wing spots except by wishful thinking. Should I post it and then we frass it?

I see that NCSU nearby has 9 of this species pinned.

Adult image
Might as well post it and see if anyone can ID it. It would be interesting circumstantial evidence, but of course not definitive.

As for where to put these egg photos -- see my comment above. Did you observe the eggs after 24 hours, by any chance?

Adult image added
Here's an adult lacewing seen through the same window as the egg clumps are on. Since no doubt lots of different lacewings are in my yard, at least two kinds of egg laying, it tells us nothing, really, unless the time of year does.

Eggs were same after 24 hours
I showed these egg clusters to my husband the next day and noted them at least a day after that without noting a change in appearance to my eye. So you say that rules out beaded lacewing. I'll keep my eye out for them near termites next year!

Right--Chrysopidae seems safe
And, again, the beaded lacewing eggs observed in a lab appeared to be on top of a single stalk, rather than a looser bundle like this. I'd love to see some photos of confirmed beaded lacewing eggs and larvae. They're certainly possible in your area, and it sounds like you have good habitat for them!

your cluster seems a bit different from those in the Guide. It will be interesting to see what Charley or others have to say.