Cotton

Natural Enemies of Aphids and Whitefly—First Open Boll to Preharvest

Each name links to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge
Predaceous adult bigeyed bug.
Bigeyed bugs
Identification tip: Bigeyed bug adults and nymphs are oval, somewhat flattened, about 1/4 inch (4 mm) long, usually brownish or yellowish, and have a wide head with prominent bulging eyes.
Minute pirate bug attacking an aphid.
Minute pirate bugs
Identification tip: Adults are about small, 1/12 to 1/5 inches (2-5 mm) long, oval, black or purplish with white markings, and have a triangular head.
Chrysoperla carnea, green lacewing larva.
Lacewing larvae
Identification tip:
Larvae are flattened, tapered at the tail, measure 1/8 to 4/5 inch (3-20 mm) long, have distinct legs, and possess prominent mandibles used to attack their prey.
Larva of the large hover fly, Scaeva pyrastri, feeding on rose aphids.
Syrphid fly larvae
Identification tip: Larvae are legless and maggot-shaped. They vary in color and patterning, but most have a yellow lengthwise stripe on the back. They can be distinguished from caterpillar larvae by their tapered head, lack of legs, and their opaque skin, through which internal organs can be seen.
Predaceous larva of convergent lady beetle.
Lady beetles
Identification tip: Larvae are active, elongate, have long legs, and resemble tiny alligators.
Predaceous larva of convergent lady beetle.
Parasitized aphid
Identification tip: Look for aphid mummies showing circular exit holes.
Predaceous larva of convergent lady beetle.
Parasitized whitefly
Identification tip: Circular exit hole on bottom whitefly mummy indicates a parasite has emerged, while the T-shaped slit on top mummy indicates emergence of a healthy whitefly adult.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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