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Natural Enemies of Pest Mites

Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge
Western predatory mite attacking spider mite egg.
Western predatory mite
Identification tip: Western predatory mites are about the size of twospotted spider mites, but lack spots, range in color from cream to amber red (depending on what they just recently consumed), and are shinier and more pear-shaped than their prey. Predatory mites are more active than pest mites.
Wester predatory mite egg
Western predatory mite egg
Identification tip:
Western predatory mite egg is oval, shiny, and larger than spider mite eggs which are smaller and more spherical in shape.

Adult sixspotted thrips.
Predatory thrips: Six-spotted thrips
Identification tip: Thrips are tiny, less than 1/8 inch in length, slender insects with long fringes on the margins of their wings. Adults can be distinguished from other species by the three dark spots on each wing cover of the mostly pale-yellow adult.

Six spotted thrips larva
Sixspotted thrips larva
Identification  tip: These predators are a translucent white to yellow. 
Larva of spider mite destroyer.
Stethorus larvae (spider mite destroyer)
Identification tip: Larvae are dull brown or black and have a velvety appearance.
Adult spider mite destroyer.
Adult stethorus beetle
Identification tip: Adult stethorus beetles are shiny black with a finely punctured surface covered with pale, minute hairs. Adults are 1/16 inch or smaller.

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