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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Natural enemies gallery


Cover of Natural Enemies Handbook

Natural enemies are organisms that kill, decrease the reproductive potential of, or otherwise reduce the numbers of another organism. Natural enemies that limit pests are key components of integrated pest management programs. Important natural enemies of insect and mite pests include predators, parasitoids (parasites), and pathogens.

The UC IPM Natural Enemies Gallery includes natural enemy species commonly found on California farms and in landscapes. Additional species will be added over time.

For more information about natural enemies, purchase the Natural Enemies Handbook.

Predators | Parasitoids | Weed herbivores | List by order and family name | List by scientific name | List by pest


A predator is an organism that attacks, kills, and feeds on several to many other individuals (its prey) during its lifetime.

Common name Scientific name
Aphid flies Chamaemyiidae family
Aphid midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza
Ashy gray lady beetle (ladybug) Olla v-nigrum =O. abdominalis
Assassin bugs Reduviidae family
Bigeyed bugs Geocoridae family
Brown lacewings Hemerobiidae family
Convergent lady beetle (ladybug) Hippodamia convergens
Damsel bugs Nabis spp.
Decollate snail Rumina decollata
Dustywings Coniopterygidae family
Euseius predatory mites Euseius spp.
Fungus-feeding lady beetles (ladybugs) Psyllobora vigintimaculata and other Psyllobora spp.
Green lacewings Chrysopidae family
Lady beetle (ladybug) Axion plagiatum
Lady beetle (ladybug) Chilocorus bipustulatus
Lady beetle (ladybug) Chilocorus kuwanae
Lady beetle (ladybug) Clitostethus arcuatus
Lady beetles (ladybugs) Delphastus catalinae and other Delphastus spp.
Lady beetles (ladybugs) Rhyzobius (=Rhizobius) forestieri and R. lophanthae
Mantids Mantidae family
Mealybug destroyer Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
Minute pirate bugs Anthocoridae family
Mite midges Feltiella spp.
Multicolored Asian lady beetle (ladybug) Harmonia axyridis
Phytoseiulus predatory mites Phytoseiulus spp.
Pink spotted lady beetle (ladybug) Coleomegilla maculata
Polished lady beetle (ladybug) Cycloneda munda
Praying mantises Mantidae family
Predaceous ground beetles Carabidae family
Predatory thrips Aeolothrips spp.
Predatory thrips Franklinothrips orizabensis and F. vespiformis
Rough stink bugs Brochymena sulcata and other Brochymena spp.
Sevenspotted lady beetle (ladybug) Coccinella septempunctata
Sixspotted thrips Scolothrips sexmaculatus
Soldier beetles Cantharidae family
Spider mite destroyer lady beetle (ladybug) Stethorus picipes
Spider mite rove beetle Oligota oviformis
Spiders Araneae order
Spined soldier bug Podisus maculiventris
Spotless lady beetle (ladybug) Cycloneda sanguinea
Steelblue lady beetle (ladybug) Halmus chalybeus
Syrphid flies Syrphidae family
Twicestabbed lady beetle (ladybug) Chilocorus orbus
Twospotted lady beetle (ladybug) Adalia bipunctata
Twospotted stink bug Perillus bioculatus
Vedalia beetle Novius (=Rodolia) cardinalis
Western blood-red lady beetle (ladybug) Cycloneda polita
Western predatory mite Galendromus occidentalis
Whirligig mites, predatory mites Anystis agilis and A. baccarum

Insect parasitoids (parasites)

Larval stages of insect parasitoids feed on or inside of other insects, killing their hosts. Adults are free-living wasps or flies.

Common name Scientific name
Alfalfa caterpillar Cotesia parasitoid Cotesia (=Apanteles) medicaginis
Anaphes egg parasitoids Anaphes iole, Anaphes nitens, and other Anaphes spp.
Aphid Aphidius parasitoids Aphidius colemani, A. ervi, A. matricariae, and other Aphidius spp.
Aphid Diaeretiella parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae
Aphid Lysiphlebus parasitoid Lysiphlebus testaceipes
Armored scale Encarsia parasitoid Encarsia perniciosi
Ash whitefly Encarsia parasitoid Encarsia inaron =E. partenopea
Asian citrus psyllid Tamarixia parasitoid Tamarixia radiata
Bluegum psyllid Psyllaephagus parasitoid Psyllaephagus pilosus
California red scale Aphytis parasitoid Aphytis melinus
California red scale Comperiella parasitoid Comperiella bifasciata
Caterpillar Copidosoma parasitoids Copidosoma (=Copidosomopsis =Pentalitomastix) plethoricum =C. plethorica, C. truncatellum, and other Copidosoma spp.
Caterpillar Goniozus parasitoids Goniozus legneri and other Goniozus spp.
Caterpillar Hyposoter parasitoid Hyposoter exiguae
Cottony cushion scale Cryptochaetum parasitoid Cryptochaetum iceryae
Elm leaf beetle Erynniopsis parasitoid Erynniopsis antennata
Elm leaf beetle Oomyzus parasitoid Oomyzus (=Tetrastichus) gallerucae
Giant whitefly parasitoids Encarsia (=Encarsiella) noyesi, Entedononecremnus krauteri, and Idioporus affinis
Glassy-winged sharpshooter Cosmocomoidea parasitoids Cosmocomoidea (=Gonatocerus) ashmeadi and other Cosmocomoidea spp.
Goldspotted oak borer Calosota parasitoid Calosota elongata
Grape leaffolder Habrobracon parasitoid Habrobracon (=Bracon) cushmani
Greenhouse thrips Thripoctenus parasitoid Thripoctenus javae =Thripobius semiluteus
Leafhopper Anagrus parasitoids Anagrus daanei, A. epos, A. erythroneurae, and other Anagrus spp.
Leafminer Diglyphus parasitoids Diglyphus begini, D. isaea, and other Diglyphus spp.
Mealybug Acerophagus parasitoids Acerophagus (=Pseudaphycus) notativentris, A. maculipennis, and other Acerophagus spp.
Mealybug Anagyrus parasitoids Anagyrus fusciventris, A. kamali, A. pseudococci, and other Anagyrus spp.
Mealybug Leptomastix parasitoid Leptomastix dactylopii
Purple scale Aphytis parasitoid Aphytis lepidosaphes
Redgum lerp psyllid Psyllaephagus parasitoid Psyllaephagus bliteus
San Jose scale Aphytis parasitoid Aphytis aonidiae
Scale insect Metaphycus parasitoids Metaphycus flavus, M. luteolus, M. helvolus, and other Metaphycus spp.
Scale insects Coccophagus parasitoid Coccophagus lycimnia =C. lecanii
Stink bug Trissolcus parasitoids Trissolcus basalis, T. euschisti, and other Trissolcus species
Tachinid flies Erynnia, Erynniopsis, Trichopoda, and Voria species and other Tachinidae
Trichogramma parasitoids Trichogramma spp.
True bug Trichopoda parasitoid Trichopoda pennipes
Walnut aphid Trioxys parasitoid Trioxys pallidus
Western flower thrips Ceranisus parasitoid Ceranisus menes
Whitefly Cales parasitoid Cales noacki
Whitefly Encarsia formosa parasitoid Encarsia formosa
Whitefly Encarsia pergandiella parasitoid Encarsia pergandiella
Woolly whitefly Amitus parasitoid Amitus spiniferus

Weed herbivores

Adult or larval stages or both of invertebrate weed herbivores feed on or inside of undesirable plants (weeds). They kill their hosts, reduce weeds' reproductive capacity (e.g., seed production), or both.

Common name Scientific name
Cochineal scales of prickly pear cacti Dactylopius spp.
Klamathweed beetle Chrysolina quadrigemina
Puncturevine weevils Microlarinus lareynii and M. lypriformis
Tamarisk beetles Diorhabda elongata and other Diorhabda spp.