Lacewing (Brown) Wesmaelius subnebulosus
Family: Hemerobiidae (Brown Lacewings)
Species: W. subnebulosus
Scientific name: Wesmaelius subnebulosus
Synonyms: Boriomyia maorica, Boriomyia subnebulosa, Boriomyia subnebulosa melancholica, Hemerobius fuscus, Hemerobius subnebulosus, Hemerobius subnebulosus lucidus, Hemerobius subnebulosus obscurus, Kimminsia subnebulosa, Subboriomyia fusca, Wesmaelius subnebulosus lucidus, Wesmaelius subnebulosus melancholicus, Wesmaelius subnebulosus obscurus,
Common name: Brown lacewing
Wesmaelius subnebulosus are 12 mm long, soft-bodied insects with four membranous wings and brown bodies. The wings can be varied in pattern and colour. Their wing venation has forked costal cross veins and dark spots.
Adults fly predominately at night and are drawn to lights.
Females lay tiny, non-stalked, oblong eggs on their side onto plant tissues. The eggs hatch in about 4 days after being laid and larvae developing through three instars before pupating. The larvae are creamy-brown with dark reddish-brown stripes and spots and they move their heads from side to side when walking. Their bodies are flattened, tapered at the tail, have distinct legs and prominent mandibles to grasp their prey.
Lacewing pupation occurs in loosely woven, spherical, silken cocoons attached to plants or under loose bark. Adults emerge in early spring and disperse. Breeding continues throughout the summer.
Both larval and adult stages of W. subnebulosus are predacious. They are aphidophagous predators though other soft bodies insects are also prey.
This species has a low-temperature threshold which gives them a survival advantage during cold spells and frosts in temperate climates.
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