Seasonal adaptations of Chrysopa dorsalis Burmeister were studied in Belgorod Province of Russia (50°N, 36°E). It was found that in the forest-steppe zone two generations may be produced, but from 76 to 100% of the prepupae of the first generation entered diapause, about 40% of them having an obligate diapause. In the rest of the population, seasonal development was controlled by photoperiod and temperature. The critical day length was about 17 h at 20°C. Some prepupae were found to require two or three years to complete the diapause. This prolonged diapause seems to be a permanent element of the life cycle of the studied species. The proportion of the prepupae that remain in diapause after the first winter positively correlated with the percentage of diapausing prepupae of the first generation in the previous season (r = 0.8). The offspring from eggs laid by females simultaneously collected under the natural conditions emerged in successive years, and the tendency to enter a long-term diapause was not inherited. The rate of the larvae development and the prepupae weight were not different in individuals which had one-year-long and prolonged diapause. However, the weight loss due to dehydration and respiration during the first winter was slightly lower in the prepupae with the prolonged diapause. The expression of the prolonged diapause was independent of the photoperiod during the diapause induction, but it was increased at a high temperature (28°C). Probably, the prolonged diapause increases polymorphism of local Ch. dorsalis populations, ensuring their survival under unpredictable conditions.