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Chrysoperla rufilabris

Chrysoperla rufilabris
Parkwood, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
December 12, 2004
Size: 11 mm
I had seen one of these in my yard a couple of weeks previously, but failed to get a photo. This one landed on me when I was standing on my porch with the light on, and I inadvertently brought it inside. I captured it, chilled it, and posed it. Length was just under 11 mm (head to tip of abdomen), 17 mm (head to tip of folded wings).

This is possibly the Common Green Lacewing,Chrysoperla (formerly Chrysopa) carnea. The tan overwintering form of that species is described in Kansas by Salsbury, p. 156-157. (1) This is apparently a widespread and common holarctic species, as it is also found in Europe. The life-cycle details, such as the overwintering stage, is rather particular to each species in the genus, at least in Europe. (Thanks to Paul Beuk for this information, and relevant links, as he explains in the comment below.)

See comments on ID. Image updated 11/23/20.

Images of this individual: tag all
Chrysoperla rufilabris Chrysoperla rufilabris Chrysoperla rufilabris


The black cross-veins
The black cross-veins, contrasting with the tan ground color, likely suggest C. rufilabris (the only other species in our area that should have this trait is from the west). My only potential reserve is that I can't quite verify the shape of the hind wingtips, but there shouldn't be any other possibility from the cross-veins. That said, this is one of the species that overwinters as adults, much like several of our carnea-group species.

thanks--added dorsal view
Great to have a specific ID after all this time. I added a dorsal view from my files, which I had not posted previously:

And hang on, I have a photo showing the wing tips in focus. Will add that later.

Here is a shot with the wingtips in focus:

Let me know if there is any other view that might be helpful--I actually took quite the series of this lacewing, and I can also crop in on any particular area of a given frame if that would help.

Moved from Chrysoperla.

Moved from Chrysoperla carnea.

#9107 Identification – Chrysoperla sp. (not carnea)
Identification. See note at #240227.

Moved from Chrysoperla.

Chrysoperla carnea
I confess, it was me. ;-)

All 'green' lacewings used to be placed in Chrysopa untill someone had a better look and decided that there were several distinct groups within Chrysopa. One of those was named Chrysoperla and carnea is the type species. In Europe, the species is now considered to be an aggregate of several very closely related species. Never keep things simple when you can complicate them. :-)

A number of images of European overwintering green lacewings can be found on You will find them at the end of the Neuroptera section, just before the scorpionflies.

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