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Identifying Natural Enemies of Mites

On this page
  • Western predatory mite
  • Sixspotted thrips
  • Spider mite destroyer
  • Brown lacewing
  • Green lacewing

During spider mite monitoring, look for natural enemies. Use the photos below to identify them. Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Western predatory mite
Western predatory mite
Identification tip:  These mites are about the size of twospotted spider mites, but lack spots; they are shinier, more pear shaped, and more active than pest mites. They range in color from cream to amber red.

Sixspotted thrips
Sixspotted thrips (adult)
Identification tip: These predatory thrips are tiny, less than 1/8 inch, slender insects with long fringes on the margins of their wings. Adults are pale yellow and are distinguished from other species by three dark spots on each wing cover.

Sixspotted thrips nymphs
Sixspotted thrips (nymphs)
Identification tip: Sixspotted thrips are translucent white to yellow and difficult to discern from other thrips species.

Spider mite destroyer
Spider mite destroyer (Stethorus) (larva)
Identification tip: Larvae are dull brown or black and have a velvety appearance.

Spider mite destroyer
Spider mite destroyer (Stethorus) (adult)
Identification tip: The adult has a shiny black, very fine punctured surface with pale, minute hairs.

Brown lacewing
Brown lacewing
Identification tip: Adults light brown and soft-bodied with four membranous wings. Larvae shaped like tiny, creamy-brown alligators with dark reddish-brown stripes and spots.

Green lacewing
Green lacewing
Identification tip: Adults green with soft bodies and four membranous wings.

Green lacewing larvae
Green lacewing larvae
Identification tip: Larvae pale with dark markings, shaped like tiny alligators.

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