Natural Enemies: Identification

Natural Enemies Listed by Order and Family

Cover of Natural Enemies Handbook

Natural enemies are organisms that kill, decrease the reproductive potential of, or otherwise reduce the numbers of another organism. Natural enemies that limit pests are key components of integrated pest management programs. Important natural enemies of insect and mite pests include predators, parasites, and pathogens.

The UC IPM Natural Enemies Gallery includes natural enemy species commonly found on California farms and in landscapes. Additional species will be added over time.

For more information about natural enemies, purchase the Natural Enemies Handbook.

Parasites | List by common name | List by order and family name | List by scientific name | List by pest

Predators

A predator is an organism that attacks, kills, and feeds on several to many other individuals (its prey) in its lifetime.

Insects
Order Coleoptera: Beetles
Family Cantharida Soldier beetles, leather-winged beetles
Family Carabidae Predaceous ground beetles
Family Coccinellidae Convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens
Mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
Multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis
Sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata
Spider mite destroyer lady beetle, Stethorus picipes
Twicestabbed lady beetle, Chilocorus orbus
Vedalia beetle, Rodolia cardinalis
Order Diptera: Flies
Family Cecidomyiidae Predaceous midge (aphid midge), Aphidoletes aphidimyza
Family Cryptochaetidae Cottony cushion scale parasite, Cryptochaetum iceryae
Family Syrphidae Syrphid flies
Order Hemiptera: True bugs
Family Anthocoridae Minute pirate bugs, Orius spp. and Anthocoris spp.
Family Lygaeidae Bigeyed bugs, Geocoris spp.
Family Nabidae Damsel bugs, Nabis spp.
Family Reduviidae Assassin bugs, Sinea diadema and Zelus renardii
Order Mantodea: Mantids
Family Mantidae Mantids, praying mantids
Order Neuroptera: Lacewings
Family Coniopterygidae Dustywings, Conwentzia barretti and others
Family Hemerobiidae Brown lacewings, Hemerobius spp.
Family Chrysopidae Green lacewings, Chrysopa spp. and Chrysoperla spp.
Order Thysanoptera: Thrips
Family Thripidae Sixspotted thrips, Scolothrips sexmaculatus
Spiders and Mites
Order Acari: Mites
Family Phytoseiidae Euseius tularensis
Phytoseiulus persimilis
Western predatory mite, Galendromus occidentalis
Order Araneae: Spiders
  Spiders
Mollusks
Class Gastropoda
Family Stylommatophora Decollate snail, Rumina decollata

Insect Parasites (parasitoids)

Larval stages of insect parasites parasitize other insects, killing their hosts just as they mature. Adults are free-living wasps or flies.

Order Diptera: Flies
Family Tachinidae Tachinid flies
Elm leaf beetle parasite, Erynniopsis antennata
Order Hymenoptera: Wasps
Family Aphelinidae Aphytis spp., armored scale parasites
Encarsia formosa, whitefly parasite
Family Aphidiidae Aphidius spp.
Lysiphlebus testaceipes, aphid parasite
Trioxys pallidus, walnut aphid parasite
Family Braconidae Cotesia medicaginis, alfalfa butterfly parasite
Bracon cushmani, grape leaffolder parasite
Family Encyrtidae Citrus mealybug parasite, Leptomastix dactylopii
Family Ichneumonidae Hyposoter exiguae, caterpillar parasite
Family Mymaridae Anaphes spp.
Family Trichogrammatidae Trichogramma spp., egg parasites

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