Chrysoperla carnea

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The aphis lion (Chrysoperla carnea) is an enough big insect which belongs to the family Chrysopidae, the order Neuroptera. The adult individual is green and the size of its body is 12–20 mm in length. The imago feed on the sweet excretions of insects, flower nectar and pollen. The female of the entomophage lays solitary green eggs. Fertility is between 100 and 900 eggs. The larva is an active predator consuming aphids, mites, coccids, eggs of many insect species. Within the stage of development (the duration of larva stage is 2–3 weeks) one larva kills 200–300 eggs or aphids. All the stages of the entomophage (an egg, a larva, a pupa and an imago) develop in enough a wide range of temperature (20–30°C) and relative humidity (50–80%). Chrysoperla carnea can be introduced in the systems of the integrated defense of different vegetable crops, fruit and flower-ornamental plants against various aphids. Additionally it is able to feed on thrips, red spider mites, whiteflies, small caterpillars, eggs of moths and mealy bugs. In the conditions of glass-covered ground the releases of the predator are realized when the first colonies of aphids appear. Invasions are realized in amount of 5 individuals per 1 m2, 2–4 times per month. The predator can be successfully applied in outdoor planting on many crops. Chrysoperla carnea possesses a relatively high resistance to the influence of pesticides.

Advantages

  • application on many crops (vegetables and ornamental) in greenhouses and outdoor planting,
  • entomophage activity doesn’t depend on temperature and relative air humidity (a wide range of hydrothermal conditions),
  • high resistance to the influence of synthetic pesticides,
  • the high effectiveness of larvae in the focuses of pest population because of its high aggression,
  • polyphagy allows the biological agent to eat alternative food (thrips, mites, caterpillars, eggs of pests).