Contents: By Damage and Image
Friends with Benefits - Natural Enemies Gallery (work in progress)
All of these years working with biological pest management have made me appreciate the diversity of natural enemies helping us by suppressing pests in the field. Learn to recognize these beneficials and you will feel surrounded by friends.
This is a work in progress. More beneficials will be added as time permits.
Neuroptera - Lacewings, snakeflies, duskywings
The green lacewing adults are frequently found near porch lights at night but their alligator-like larvae are found searching for prey on leaves. Many species lay their eggs on stalks.
It is called a fly but a snakefly actually belongs to the same family as green lacewings, Neuroptera.
Dustywings - Coniopterygidae
Small, barely noticeable, these tiny relatives of lacewings eat tiny prey such as spider mites and insect eggs.
Coleoptera - Beetles
Ground beetle - Carabidae
Small to large beetles, often with grooved hindwings (elytra)
Rove beetles - Staphylinidae
Often recognized by their short hind wings (elytra). Many are predatory as larvae and adults.
Soldier beetles - Cantharidae
Lady beetles - Coccinellidae
Most people recognize the adult stages of lady beetles but are far less familiar with the egg, larval, and pupal stages of these well-known insects.
Can I actually persuade you to like a maggot? How about if it eats spider mites on your plants? Meet the predatory gall midge - Feltiella sp.
Not convinced you like maggots? How about if they eat the aphids on your plants? Meet Aphidoletes, the aphid midge.
Hover flies - Syrphidae
Many people recognize hover flies as they hover over flowers searching for pollen and nectar but do not recognize the larvae, which are predatory on aphids.
Another maggot that eats aphids, a hover fly. The larva of Scaeva resembles a caterpillar leading some to kill it.
Original publication: 6/3/2016
Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University