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How to Manage Pests

Identification: Natural Enemies Gallery

Spider mite destroyer lady beetle

Scientific name: Stethorus picipes

Life stages of Spider Mite Destroyer Tiny size illustrated by adult on almond husk Adult Egg Larva Pupa

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae

Common prey: Both adults and larvae feed almost entirely on mites.

Commercially available: No


The adult spider mite destroyer is about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) long. It is shiny black with a very finely punctured surface covered with pale, minute hairs. Females lay tiny pale, oblong eggs, usually scattered singly among spider mite colonies. The spider mite destroyer larva is dark gray to brownish and covered with numerous fine hairs. Pupae are oblong or oval and covered with short spines. Depending on maturity, pupae vary in color from black to brown, gray, or reddish.

Adults and larvae each consume about one-half dozen mites per day. At warm temperatures the spider mite destroyer can complete one generation from egg to adult in about three weeks. Females typically live one to three months, during which they lay about 100 to 200 eggs.

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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