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Some other important natural enemies

Predatory Beetles

Beetles are a very large and diverse insect group. Beetles have two pairs of wings, a rigid often coloured pair of fore wings and a pair of fine hind wings folded beneath.

They are distinct from bugs in that they undergo complete metamorphosis - egg, larval, pupal and adult stages.

Most beetles are predators but some feed on plants, most notably - the 28 spotted ladybird, Dried fruit beetles (Carpophilus) and Monolepta beetles.

Ladybird beetles, various species

Primary Host: aphids, mites, moths eggs and small larvae.

Key identifying characteristics:

Labybird adults are typically small, round to oval and domed shaped with distinctive colourful markings.

A female may lay from 200 to 1,000 eggs over two months. The eggs (top right) are spindle shaped and usually deposited in clusters.

Larvae have three pairs of prominent legs and can be voracious feeders. Pupa may be dark or colourfully pattered.

Significance: Ladybird adults and larvae are common in most districts. One per two plants at times.

Examples of the larval stage:

Common adult ladybeetles:

 Examples of ladybird pupa:


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Stethorus Beetles

Primary Host: mites and mite eggs

Key identifying characteristics: Tiny black ladybird beetle about 2 mm in diameter.

Significance: A major predator of twospotted mite and likely to suppress mites if they enter the crop early.

 


Red and blue beetle, Dicranolaius bellulus

Primary Host: moth eggs and small larvae

Key identifying characteristics: Distinctive red and dark blue/black markings. About 5 mm long.

Significance: Significance in sweet corn unknown but can be very numerous some seasons in cotton.

 

 


Other Beetles- Ground beetles and Rove beetles

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