In viticulture, the insect or its larvae are among the most important beneficial inse cts in the fight against vine enemies. Of the large family, the species "Chrysoperla cernea" is the most important because of its predatory performance against insect pests. The insect, which is about 20 millimetres in size, has two longer, transparent greenish wings, the pale green body is crossed by a yellowish white dorsal stripe (picture left). The adult flies live on nectar and are normally not predatory. After overwintering, the eggs, which are provided with an adhesive stalk, are laid in groups, preferably on the leaf, from which the larvae hatch.
The hatched larvae, which are about two millimetres in size, have two strong pincers on their heads with which the prey is grasped and then sucked out (picture on the right). Prey includes mites and their eggs (especially spider mites), various aphids (especially aphids as in the picture and scale insects), vine thrips and cicadas, as well as eggs and larvae of small butterflies. Lacewing larvae are bred and used specifically in the vineyard against pests. See also under organic viticulture and plant protection.