8 Beneficial Insects

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  • 1. Beneficial Insects
    • Predators – Attack, kill and eat multiple numbers of prey
  • 2. Predatory Beneficials
    • Beetles:
      • Ground Beetles
      • Ladybird Beetles
    • Flies
      • Aphid Midge
      • Syrphid Fly (Hover Fly)
      • Tachinid Fly
    • True Bugs
      • Minute Pirate Bugs
      • Big Eyed Bug
      • Damsel Bug
      • Spined Soldier Bug
      • Assassin Bug
  • 3. Other Predatory Beneficials
    • Green Lacewings
    • Predatory Mites
    • Spiders
    • Mantids
    • Paper Wasps/Solitary Wasps
  • 4. Parasitoids Beneficials
    • Ground Beetles
    • Tachynid Flies
    • Parasitic Wasps
    • Brachonid Wasps
    • Parasitic Nematodes
  • 5. Predators - Beetles
  • 6. Ground Beetles                                          
  • 7. Ground Beetles
    • Adults
      • Feed on gypsy moths, caterpillars, grubs, weevils, ants, snails
    • Larvae
      • Ectoparasite larvae (live attached to outside of host): Colorado potato beetle larvae and pupae
  • 8. Ground Beetles
    • Hide under logs, rocks, and leaves in moist areas
    • 1/8-1 3/8" long
    • Many are shiny black, but some are brightly colored
    • rapidly pursue prey at night
    • The larvae are predators
    • Take 1 year to grow from eggs to adults
    • Live 2-3 years, or rarely 4 years.
    • Effective in July
  • 9. Ladybird Beetles
  • 10. Eating a winged aphid Feed on aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, insect eggs, mites, other small insects
  • 11. Ladybird Beetle Eggs
  • 12. Ladybird Beetles Just Hatched
  • 13. Larvae
  • 14. Pupae
  • 15. Convergent lady beetles called lady bugs or ladybird beetles
    • The adult orange with 6 small dark spots on each wing cover
    • The larva is soft-bodied, gray and orange markings, and covered with rows of raised black spots, look like little alligators.
    • Both feed primarily on aphids, also feed on scales, eggs of larvae and other soft-bodied insects and mites
  • 16. Ladybird Beetles $18/4500
    • Each ladybug can consume as many as 5,000 aphids during life-time of about 1 year .
    • Yellow oval-shaped eggs in clusters or singly near infestations of aphids or other pests
    • Hatching larvae develop through several instars until they pupate
    • Development from egg to adult takes 2 to 3 weeks
    • 1-2 generations per year
  • 17. Plants that attract Ladybird Beetles
    • Achillea filipendulina, Fern-leaf Yarrow
    • Achillea millefolium, Common Yarrow
    • Ajuga reptans, Carpet Bugleweed
    • Alyssum saxatilis, Basket of Gold
    • Anethum graveolens, Dill
    • Anthemis tinctoria, Golden Marguerite
  • 18. Plants that attract Ladybird Beetles
    • Ascelpias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed
    • Atriplex canescens, Four-wing Saltbush
    • Coriandrum sativum, Coriander
    • Daucus Carota, Queen Anne’s Lace
    • Fagopyrum esculentum, Buckwheat
  • 19. Predators - Flies
  • 20. Parasitized aphids/aphid Predator Midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza $17/100
    • 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
  • 21. Aphid Predator Midge
  • 22. Life Cycle
  • 23. Hover Fly (Syrphid Fly)
    • Larvae feed on aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips
    • Raise up on their hind legs to catch & feed
  • 24. Syrphid Fly mimics Honeybee
  • 25. Hover Fly (Syrphid Flies)
  • 26. Syrphid Flies, Hover Flies, Flower Flies
    • Large group of flies
    • 1/4 to 3/4 inch long
    • Most adult black or brown with yellow banded abdomens and body markings, resembling bees and wasps
    • Larvae legless spindle-shaped instars and vary in color from creamy-white to green or brown
    • adults pollinate flowers.
  • 27. Hover Fly (Syrphid Fly)
    • Larvae hatch in about 3 days; Several instars over 2 to 3 weeks
    • Pupate on host or in soil; Adults emerge in 1 to 2 weeks unless the pupal stage remains through the winter
    • Up to 7 generations
    • They feed on aphids by piercing their bodies and sucking the fluids, leaving shriveled, blackened aphid bodies. They may also feed on scales and caterpillars.
  • 28. Hover Fly (Syrphid) egg
  • 29. Larvae with Aphids
  • 30. Hover Fly Maggot eating an aphid
  • 31. Plants that attract Syrphid (Hover Flies)
    • Achillea filipendulina, Fern leaf yarrow
    • Achillea millefolium, common Yarrow
    • Ajuga reptans, Carpet bugleweed
    • Allium tanguticum, Lavender globe lily
    • Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel
    • Helianthus maximilianii, Maximillian Sunflower
    • Penstemon strictus, Rocky Mt penstemon
    • Potentilla recta ‘warrenii’ Sulfur cinquefoil
    • Potentilla villosa, Alpine cinquefoil
    • Tagetes tenuifolia, Marigold
    • Tanacetum vulgare, Tansy
    • Taraxacum officinale, Dandelion
    • Veronica spicata, Spike Speedwell
    • Vicia villosa, Hairy vetch
    • Alyssum saxatilis, Basket of gold
  • 32.
    • Anethum graveolens, Dill
    • Anthemis tinctoria, Golden marguerite
    • Aster alpinus, Dwar alpine aster
    • Astrantia major, Masterwort
    • Atriplex canescens, Four-wing saltbush
    • Callirhoe involucrata, Purple poppy mallow
    • Carum varvi, Caraway
    • Chrysanthemum parthenium, feverfew
  • 33.
    • Coriandrum sativum, Coriander
    • Cosmos bipinnatus, Cosmos
    • Daucus Carota, queen Anne’s Lace
    • Fagopyrum esculentum, Buckwheat
    • Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel
    • Lavandula angustifolia, English lavender
    • Limnanthes douglasii, Poached egg plant
    • Limonium latifolium, Statice
    • Linaria vulgaris, Butter and eggs
    • Lobelia erinus, Edging lobelia
  • 34.
    • Lobularia maritima, Sweet alyssum – white
    • Melissa oficinalis, Lemon balm
    • Mentha pulegium, Pennyroyal
    • Mentha spicata, Spearmint
    • Monarda fistulosa, Wild bergamot
    • Penstemon strictus, Rocky Mt penstemon
    • Petroselinum crispum, Parsley
    • Potentilla recta ‘warrenii’ Sulfur cinquefoil
  • 35.
    • Potentilla villosa, Alpine cinquefoil
    • Rudbeckia fulgida, Gloriosa daisy
    • Sedum kamtschaticum, Orange Stonecrop
    • Sedum spurium & album, Stonecrops
    • Solidago virgaurea Peter Pan goldenrod
    • Stachys officinalis, Lamb’s ear
    • Tagetes tenuifolia, Marigold, lemon gem
    • Thymus serphylum coccineus, Red thyme
    • Veronica spicata, Spike Speedwell
    • Zinnia elegans, Zinnia - liliput
  • 36. Tachinid Flies
  • 37. Tachinid Flies
    • Adult
      • Feed on caterpillars, beetles, bugs
    • Larvae
      • Parasitic on caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, sawflies
  • 38.
    • Adult resemble houseflies, but vary by species in size, coloration and shape
    • Many are gray or black or have bodies marked with stripes and have distinct long bristles on the ends of their abdomens. Some species are brightly colored.
    • generally host-specific
    • As a group, most species parasitize caterpillars or beetles. some species develop in sawflies, true bugs, grasshoppers or other insects
  • 39.
    • vary by species
    • Eggs are sometimes oviposited on leaves and ingested by a host larva during feeding
    • Females of other species may glue their eggs to the host body after which the hatching larva tunnels inside
    • In other species, eggs are inserted directly into the host body
    • Once inside the host body, one or more larvae can develop through several instars for 4 to 14 days
    • They emerge from the host to pupate inside their last larval puparium
    • Adults emerge 1 to 2 weeks later. Depending on species, 1 or more generations occur per year.
  • 40. Tachinid Fly
  • 41. Tachinid Fly eggs on a Leafroller
  • 42. Tachinid Fly eggs on a Cutworm
  • 43. Plants that Attract Tachinid Flies
    • Anthemis tinctoria, Golden marguerite
    • Fagopyrum esculentum, Buckwheat
    • Melissa officinalis, Lemon blam
    • Mentha pulegium, Pennyroyal
    • Petroseliunum crispum, Parsley
    • Phacelia tanacetifolia, ,Phacelia
    • Tanacetum vulgare, Tansy
    • Thymus serphyllum coccineus, Crimson thyme
  • 44. Predators – True Bugs
  • 45. Minute Pirate Bug $37/100
  • 46. Pirate Bug eating a Thrips
  • 47. Minute Pirate Bugs or other Predatory bugs
    • Most effective between 70 and 90 0 F
    • Eggs are laid individually in leaf stems or veins
    • It takes anywhere from 9 - 25 days from egg to adult depending on food source and temperature
    • The nymphs go through five stages
    • Females are capable of laying between 80 and 100 eggs
    • Adults live 3-4 weeks
    • 2-3 generations
  • 48. Minute Pirate Bug Nymph
  • 49. Minute Pirate Bug
  • 50. Minute Pirate Bug
    • Tiny1/8 inch black bugs with white markings at the base of the front wings
    • Wingless nymphs orange
    • Both prey upon a wide variety of arthropods including aphids, chinch bugs, springtails, plant bugs, thrips, eggs and small larvae of corn earworms, whiteflies, spider mites.
    • Adults overwinter in protected habitats such as leaf litter
    • Females insert eggs into plant tissue
  • 51. Big-eyed Bug
  • 52. Big-eyed Bug
    • 1/8 to 1/4 inch long
    • broad heads with large, curved, backward-projecting eyes. Immature nymphs resemble adults but do not have fully developed wings
    • Nymphs and adults are general predators, feeding on small larvae and eggs of insect pests such as fleahoppers, lygus bugs, mites, thrips, and whiteflies.
    • Adults overwinter and oviposit eggs on plants. Hatching nymphs develop through 5 instars before becoming winged adults.
  • 53. Damsel Bug
  • 54. Assassin Bug Eggs
  • 55. Plants that attract minute pirate bugs, damsel bugs and big eyed bugs:
    • Carum varvi, Caraway
    • Cosmos bipinnatus, Cosmos, white sensation
    • Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel
    • Medicago sative, Alfalfa
    • Mentha spicata, Spearmint
    • Solidago virgaurea Peter Pan goldrod
    • Tagetes tenuifolia, Marigold, lemon gem
  • 56. Spined Soldier Bug Podisus maculiventris
    • Adult & Nymph feeding on a Colorado Potato Beetle larva
  • 57. Spined Soldier Bug
    • One of the stink bugs
    • Adult spined soldier bugs are pale brown to tan and can be 8.5-13 mm long
    • They are shield-shaped with prominent spurs on the "shoulders," immediately behind the head.
    • Nymphs are red and black, wingless and round
    • Both have long, pointed beaks with which they stab their prey and which they keep folded under their bodies when not feeding.
  • 58. Spined Soldier Bug
    • Habitat (Crops)
    • Most, including potatoes, tomatoes, sweet corn, cole crops, beans, eggplant, cucurbits, asparagus, apples, and onions.
    • Pests Attacked
    • 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.
  • 59. Spined Soldier Bug Life Cycle
    • Life Cycle
    • 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 .
  • 60. Soldier Bug
    • Larvae with yellow stripe
    • Waiting for aphids
  • 61. Other Predatory Beneficials
  • 62. Green Lacewing
  • 63. Lacewings
  • 64. Lacewings
    • Adults light green or brown with long slender antennae, golden eyes and long delicately veined wings that are 2-3/4 inch long
    • Larvae have sickle-shaped mandibles with which they piece prey and suck out body juices
    • Adults have chewing mouthparts. Adults are poor fliers, active at night and feed on pollen, nectar and honeydew.
    • .
  • 65.
    • Life cycle: 1/4 inch slender stalks that keep young larvae from eating each other after they hatch
    • Larvae grow through 3 instars for 2 to 3 weeks before each spins a spherical white silken cocoon
    • The adult emerges in about 5 days
    • Overwinters in the cocoon or adult stage, depending on species. Adults disperse widely after emerging before mating and laying eggs. Some species have several generations per year
  • 66. Lacewing Eggs
  • 67. Lacewing Larvae preys on aphids, leafhoppers, scales, mites and moth eggs
  • 68. Larvae
  • 69.
    • Often the larvae are covered with "trash" which is actually the bodies of their prey and other debris.
  • 70. Green Lacewing Larvae
    • feed on many different species of insects with soft bodies, mites & eggs, but primary food are aphids
    • While in this stage only 2 - 4 weeks, each can consume & kill up to 600 aphids
    • Less effective on peppers, tomatoes & cukes - & have problems finding prey on plants with hairy or sticky leaves
  • 71. Lacewing $25/1000
    • 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.
  • 72. Plants that attract Lacewings
    • Achillea filipendulina, fernleaf yarrow
    • Anethum graveolens, Dill
    • Angelica gigias, Angelica
    • Anthemis tinctoria, Gold marguerite
    • Atriplex canescens, Four-wing saltbush
    • Callirhoe involucrata, Purple Poppy Mallow
    • Carum carvi, Caraway
  • 73. Plants that attract Lacewings
    • Coriandrum sativum, Coriander
    • Cosmos binpinnatus, cosmos white Sensation
    • Daucus Carota, queen Anne’s Lace
    • Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel
    • Helianthus maximiliani, Maximillian Sunflower
    • Tanacetume vulgare, Tansy
    • Taraxacum officinale, Dandelion
  • 74. Predatory Mites P. persimilis , N. californicus , M. longipes $44/1000
    • Kill spider mites - particularly two-spotted or red spider mites
    • Eliminate 5-20 daily during 30-45 day life
    • They multiply at nearly 2x the rate of spider mites
    • easily overtake existing populations
  • 75. Predatory Mite Amblysius fallacis
  • 76. Phoretic Mite on Carrion Beetle
  • 77. Velvet Mite
  • 78. Spiders
    • spiders are beneficial and prey on mites, aphids and other insects
  • 79. Jumping Spider Phidippus audax
  • 80. Praying Mantid
  • 81. Mantid
    • Feed on any insects (generalist, opportunist predator)
  • 82. Praying Mantid
    • Green to grayish brown, 2 to 3 inches
    • Egg masses rectangular in shape, usually about 1 inch long and 3/8 inches wide and tall with rounded sides
    • egg mass contains dozens of eggs encased in a frothy material produced by the female that hardens into a foam-like material which is tan or occasionally white on top with darker sides
    • Preys on insects
    • In the fall female oviposit eggs on twigs, vines & other sites
    • Eggs hatch in spring
    • Nymphs develop through several wingless instars
    • 1 generation per year
  • 83. Mantid Adult
  • 84. Praying Mantid $9/3 cases
  • 85. Solitary/Hunting Wasps Paper Wasps
  • 86. Paper Wasp Polistes spp
    • Feed on Caterpillars
  • 87. Parasitoids Beneficials
    • Ground Beetles
    • Tachynid Flies
    • Parasitic Wasps
    • Brachonid Wasps
    • Parasitic Nematodes
  • 88. Parasitic Wasp
    • Sympiesis marylandensis , a eulophid wasp parasitoid of leafminers
  • 89. Parasitic Wasp Braconid
    • Adults 1/100 to 3/4 inch long
    • Various shapes and colors but usually have long antennae, clear or colored wings with characteristic venation and a narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen
    • Larval develop inside or outside of a single host
    • Those that kill their hosts are called parasitoids
    • Most insect groups including aphids, beetles, caterpillars, flies, sawflies, scale insects and true bugs are attacked by parasitic wasps.
  • 90. Parasitic Wasp
    • vary with species
    • Adult wasps emerge from pupae
    • females seek suitable host insects into or on which to oviposit eggs singly or in clusters
    • Usually, a larva hatches from an egg and develops through several instars before forming a pupa
    • Some parasitic wasps, such as Copidosoma spp., undergo polyembryony, whereby an egg inserted into a host divides and gives rise to hundreds of larvae.
  • 91. Parasitic Wasp attacking aphid
  • 92. Parasitic Wasps
    • Wasp and aphid mummy – note exit hole
  • 93. Braconid Adult
  • 94.
    • A hornworm parasitized by braconid wasps
  • 95. Braconid Larvae emerging from Caterpillar & Carcass
  • 96. Parasitized and Normal Cabbage caterpillar
  • 97. Plants that attract parasitic mini-wasps
    • Achillea filipendulina, Fern leaf yarrow
    • Achillea millefolium, common Yarrow
    • Allium tanguticum, Lavender gloe lily
    • Anethum graveolens, Dill
    • Anthemis tinctoria, Golden marguerite
    • Astrantia major, Masterwort
    • Callirhoe involucrata, Purple poppy mallow
    • Carum varvi, Caraway
  • 98.
    • Coriandrum sativum, Coriander
    • Cosmos bipinnatus, Cosmos
    • Daucus Carota, queen Anne’s Lace
    • Foeniculum vulgare, Fennel
    • Limonium latifolium, Statice
    • Linaria vulgaris, Butter and eggs
    • Lobelia erinus, Edging lobelia
    • Lobularia maritima, Sweet alyssum – white
    • Melissa officinalis, Lemon balm
    • Mentha pulegium, Pennyroyal
    • Petroselinum crispum, Parsley
    • Potentilla recta ‘warrenii’ Sulfur cinquefoil
  • 99.
    • Potentilla villosa, Alpine cinquefoil
    • Sedum kamtschaticum, Orange stonecrop
    • Tagetes tenuifolia, Marigold, lemon gem
    • Tanacetum vulgare, Tansy
    • Thymus serphylum coccineus, Red thyme
    • Zinnia elegans, Zinnia - liliput
  • 100. Beneficial Nematodes $20 for 1 million
    • prey on over 250 different pest species that spend some part of their lives developing in the soil.
    • kill rapidly
    • Resistant to most pesticides & fungicides
    • safe for non-target organisms, such as earthworms
    • They hunt & kill underground - grubs, fleas, weevils, borers, worms, & maggots, including dog and cat fleas, flea beetles, Japanese beetle grubs, wireworms, fungus gnats, thrips, Squash vine borers, seed corn & onion maggots, hairy cinch bugs, saw flies, root weevils & more.
  • 101. Parasitic nematodes
  • 102. Grasshopper infected with Nosema locustae
  • 103. Top 10 Plants to attract Beneficials (Organic Gardening)
    • Bachelor’s Buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
    • Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
    • Borage (Borago officinalis)
    • Cup plant (Siliphium perfoliatum)
    • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
    • Golden marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)
    • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
    • Mountain mints (pycnanthemum virginianaum & muticum)
    • Pussy willows (Salix sp)
    • Ornamental Grasses
    • Corn
  • 104. Bachelor’s Buttons Centaurea cyanus
    • Has extrafloral nectaries – plant’s leaves release nectar even when the flower are not blooming
    • Very high sugar content 75%
    • Flower flies, ladybugs, lacewings, beneficial wasps
  • 105. Sweet Alyssum
    • Weed smothering ground cover
    • Can interplant with vegetables
    • Highly attractive to aphid eating flower flies
  • 106. Borage
    • Attractive to over 100 beneficials
    • Lacewings prefer to lay their eggs on borage
  • 107. Cup Plant
    • 5-8 foot tall
    • Cupped so collects dew and rainwater
  • 108. Anise Hyssop
    • Nectar rich attractive to butterflies and beneficials
  • 109. Golden marguerite
    • Attractive to ladybugs
    • Lacewings
    • Flower flies
    • Tachinid flies
    • Mini-wasps
    • Only plant out of 170 species to score this well at a study in Colorado & Wyoming
  • 110. Fennel
    • Attractive to nectar-feeding beneficials
  • 111. Mountain Mints
    • Wet meadows in the Eastern US
  • 112. Pussy willows
    • Produce pollen early in the spring when beneficials are just emerging
  • 113. Ornamental Grasses
    • Excellent summer shelter and overwintering sites for ground beetles, ladybugs and other beneficials
    • Studies in England found more than 1500 predators per square yard in grass-covered ‘Beetle banks’
  • 114. Corn
    • Tassels produce large amounts of pollen
    • Nutritious protein source for many beneficials
  • 115. Other Plants to Attract Beneficials (Organic Ag Advisors)
    • Calendula
    • Candytuft
    • Ceanothus
    • Chervil
    • Cilantro
    • Clover
    • Daisy
    • Erigeron
    • Evening primrose
    • Gypsophila
    • Lovage
    • Rue
    • Snowberry
    • Valerian