Aphid predators arrive as cocoons ready to "hatch" into adult predators
Look like very small mosquitoes
Lay eggs near aphid colonies
Each female lay 250 eggs , lives about 10 days
Active at night
Larvae is orange to 1/10” long
Watching predators feed is not for the squeamish: predator larvae bite the knee joint of the aphid and inject a paralyzing toxin. After the aphid stops struggling, the predator bites into the thorax and sucks out the body contents
Most, including potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, cole crops, beans, eggplant, cucurbits, asparagus, apples, and onions.
Over 100 species in many families. Prime targets are immature insects. Reported prey include the larvae of Mexican bean beetle, European corn borer, diamondback moth, corn earworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, cabbage looper, imported cabbageworm, Colorado potato beetle, velvetbean caterpillar, and flea beetles.
Each female lays several hundred gray, cream, or gold barrel-shaped eggs in tight clusters of 20 to 30 on leaves and twigs. The nymphs initially cluster around the hatched eggs, then disperse to feed. There may be two to three generations per year. In the laboratory, adults have lived 2-3 months .
Best released at 2 week intervals to insure generation overlap & presence of feeding larvae throughout pest cycle. Adults eat pollen, nectar, & honeydew (sugary liquid discharged by some insects) - mostly active at night.