Wanted dead or alive – Lacewing insects to ward off pesky greenflies


In the United Kingdom, lacewing insects are wanted dead or alive to fend off greenflies that infest gardens and farms. A scientist from The University of Manchester discovered that genetic variations in greenflies cause them to fear the lacewing predators, also known as aphid lions. While various genetic lineages of greenfly responded differently to the predators, they all drastically reduced their reproduction when lacewing insects were around, whether they were alive or dead. Just the smell and sight of the dead predators were enough to cause greenflies to not reproduce and to change the way they infested plants, giving hope to gardeners and farmers who need to save their plants from the greenflies’ invasions.