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Natural Enemies of Spider Mites

On this page
  • Sixspotted thrips
  • Spider mite destroyer
  • Western predatory mite

Use the photos below to identify natural enemies of mites. Also see photos of spider mites and their damage. Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Immature stage

Mature stage

Sixspotted thrips
Sixspotted thrips (larva)
Identification tip: These predators are a translucent white to yellow.  

Sixspotted thrips
Sixspotted thrips (adult)
Identification tip: Adults of the sixspotted thrips can be distinguished from other thrips by the three dark spots on each wing cover.

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


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

Western predatory mite
Larval stage photo not available.
A western predatory mite, Galendromus (= Metaseiulus) occidentalis, attacking a twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.
Western predatory mite
Identification tip: Western predatory mites are slightly larger than twospotted spider mites, but move around faster, have no spots, and are shinier and more pear-shaped than their prey.

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