Head: Pale green with a pale yellow stripe down whole length of the body. Top of head may have two red dots or an entire line on top of head (vertex). A bright orange-red stripe between eye and mouth area. Mouth reddish. Whiskers (palpi) cream with black stripes.
Antenna: Antenna yellowish, darker toward tips.
Thorax: Pale green with a pale yellow stripe down middle. Neck (pronotum) may have some black or red on sides, behind eyes.
Wings: Long and narrow with pointed tips. Veins green, but some cross-veins along wing edges may be gray to black – variable.
Legs: Legs very pale green, feet yellowish-white.
Abdomen: Pale green with a pale yellow stripe down middle. Note: Chrysoperla rufilabris also changes colour in the fall if it is associated with deciduous trees and shrubs.
Similar Species: Chrysoperla carnea or plorabunda has a black mark from eye to mouth area. Antenna are more white.
Size: 12 to 17 mm to wing tip.
Flight Time: Mid-March to October
Habitat: Shrubs, bushes, corn fields, but most abundant in apple orchards.
Food: Larvae feed on aphids, primarily the Green Apple Aphid Aphis pomi.
Also other small, soft-bodied insects and their eggs. Adults eat pollen, nectar from flowers and honeydew from aphids.
Used as a biological control for the Oriental Fruit Moth Grapholita molesta and European Pine Shoot Moth Rhyacionia buoliana.
Life Cycle: Courtship rituals use abdominal vibrations on twigs or leaves. Females deposit eggs singly, usually on leaf margins. Eggs are elevated on stalks (pulvilli). Larvae have dark stripes on their heads and feed on smaller insects (usually aphids), packing left-over body parts on their backs. Larvae also play dead. The cocoon is net-like, snow-white. Adults are attracted to lights at night. Adults overwinter. 3 to 4 generations per year. If associated with deciduous trees, adults may turn reddish-brown in the fall to the next spring.
Larvae and cocoons are parasitized by Chalcid Wasp Perilampus chrysopae.
Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Widespread across Ontario and Quebec.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page