Gauteng Smallholder December/ January 2018 - Page 35

INSECTS A bug that feeds on the bad bugs S mallholders tend to fret about insects that threaten their crops, livestock, pets, gardens or humans. However, there are insects which we should befriend, because they prey on other insects that are pests. Lacewing Lacewings are just such a family of predators and the Yellow, Green and Brown lacewings are most common in Gauteng. The green lacewing, some- times known as the golden- eyed lacewing, has long delicate antennae, a slender greenish body, golden- or copper- coloured eyes, and two pairs of similar veined wings. It is worldwide in distribution and flies near grasses and shrubs. Adults have elongated bodies reminiscent of dragonflies, but they have four wings which each have many veins, which give them the netlike or "lace" appearance. Larvae have different body shapes and are similar in appearance to ladybug larvae but have very large mandi- bles. Several families are found within the order, but most of the pest controllers are located within the Chrysopidae family. Green lacewings have a 3 cm body and their wings have no markings. Ceratochrysa antica are yellow and slightly larger than the green lacewing. Their wings also have no markings. Chrysemosa jeanneli are smaller than the green lacewings with grey bodies and grey wings. They have a distinctive black spot on the mid hind margin of their 33 www.sasmallholder.co.za wings, which meet up when their wings are at rest. Lacewings lay their pale green oblong eggs on the tips of threadlike stalks attached to plants. The immature lacewings hatch within a few days. Lacewing larvae are reddish cream in colour and are tapered in shape. They have distinct legs, and have prominent mouth parts used Continued on page 35