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How to Manage Pests

Identification: Natural Enemies Gallery


Scientific name: For example, Conwentzia barretti, one of about 20 species in California

Life stages of Dustywings Adult Larva Pupal silken cover Pupa exposed from beneath cover

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Neuroptera
Family: Coniopterygidae

Common prey: Larvae are predaceous on all mite stages and virtually any tiny insect they can capture.

Commercially available: No


Adult dustywings are about 3/16 inches (4.5 mm) long with long antennae and prominent eyes. They are named for the whitish powder covering their wings. Adults lay minute, oblong eggs on foliage among colonies of mites or small insects. Dustywing larvae are commonly gray, white, and blackish with pale appendages and a strongly tapered abdomen. They pupate beneath an inconspicuous, flat, white, silken cocoon, often on the undersurface of leaves.

Dustywings are often said to be rare, but they may simply be overlooked because they are small. They are arboreal, occurring mostly in shrubs and trees. When feeding on mites, dustywing larvae eat about 250 mites while developing through three larval stages. They apparently have several generations per year.

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

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