Aphid Lion - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
Lake Isabella, CA
Avatar for grdngrub
Question by grdngrub
April 29, 1998
What does an aphid lion look like? I've heard they're as good as lady bugs when it comes to aphid control. I have found an insect with orangish stripes that's where the aphids and lady bugs are .Help! I don"t want to go to war with a good guy.

Answer from NGA
April 29, 1998
An aphid lion is a Lacewing larvae, another good guy in the garden. The larvae look more like little alligators, but they have voracious appetities and love to eat aphids. Probably what you are seeing are Lady Beetle larvae. They, too, are shaped like little alligators, usually black with orange stripes. If you watch them on a daily basis, you may be able to see them pull themselves into a short little "almost" ladybugs, and develop outer wing coverings. It's a magical process! Both aphid lions and ladybug larvae are good guys in the garden so just let them continue feasting on aphids!

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