"Chantilly lace, have a pretty face..."
When Jerry Lee Lewis belted out those lyrics in his No. 1 hit, "Chantilly Lace," back in 1972, he wasn't thinking of a green lacewing.
Perhaps he should have been.
The green lacewing is a delicate insect with transparent wings, an elongated green body, and gold or copper-colored eyes. When the late afternoon sun sets it aglow, you can't find a more beautiful insect.
It's not only pretty--it's beneficial. Its larvae, sometimes called "aphid lions," prey upon aphids, mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, leafhoppers, psyllids, tiny caterpillars and insect eggs. And sometimes they devour each other.
As adults, lacewings feed on pollen, nectar and honeydew.
Entomologists place the insect in the family Chrysopidae, suborder Planipennia, order Neuroptera and class Insecta.
Gardeners? If they had their way, they'd place the green lacewing on a pedestal.
Copper eyes of a green lacewing glow in the late afternoon sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)