Beneficials

Search Results

  • Assassin bugs

    The head is narrow and elongate with the portion behind the eyes neck-like (A, B). Sometimes a sculptured crest may be found on the pronotum. The front legs are specialized for hunting. Note: These bugs are sensitive to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.

  • Bees and bumble bees

    Principal species are honey bees and bumble bees. Bumble bees, e.g. Bombus sp. (A) have a robust black body covered with hair of variable colors (yellow, orange, black, and white). Honey bees, e.g. Apis mellifera L. (B) are more delicate; they are golden brown with yellow rings on the abdomen, and have a hairy body.

  • Black hunter

    The adult is a slender, sharply pointed, blue-black insect with silvery wings, which are held over the abdomen (A). The nymph is nearly colorless after hatching, but soon turns a dark maroon as it matures (B).

  • Braconid and chalcid parasitic wasps

    Brown or black, these wasp species are small and difficult to differentiate from one another, except that chalcids have greatly enlarged hind femora (third leg segment). They have two pairs of membranous wings, segmented antennae, and a very distinct head, thorax and abdomen. Females often have a needle-like ovipositor at the tip of their abdomen. They are harmless to humans. Note: These wasps are extremely sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Gall midges

    The adult resembles a small mosquito (A). The bright orange larvae are legless and have no distinct head capsule; the front part of the body is tapered (B). The orange elongated eggs are laid on the leaf surface among aphid colonies. Note: Gall midges are sensitive to broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Glassy-winged mirid bug

    The adult is similar to the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris), but with a more elongated head and has translucent wings (A) crossed with two black lines at an angle; also, without the cream-colored scutellum seen in L. lineolaris. The antennae are striped. The nymph is green with a red banana-shaped process at the end of its abdomen (B). Note: These bugs are less sensitive to certain organophosphate insecticides, such as those used against the apple maggot.

  • Hover flies

    The adult is a fly that mimics the coloration of wasps; it often hovers during flight (A). The eggs are white with a stippled sculptured surface (B). The larva (C) is a maggot of variable color (gray, yellow, orange, green or a combination of these colors). It is found among aphid colonies, often co-existing with other predators such as the gall midge. Note: Hover flies are sensitive to several broad-spectrum insecticides, especially the organophosphates.

  • Ichneumonid parasitic wasps

    The representative species of this group, such as Gambrus sp. (A) and Itoplectis conquisitor (Say) (B), are larger than other parasitic wasps. They have a slender body; very distinct head, thorax and abdomen; two pairs of membranous wings and long, segmented antennae. The female’s needle-like ovipositor (at the tip of the abdomen) is as long as or longer than its body. They are harmless to humans. Note: These wasps are extremely sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Lacewings

    The adult is green (Chrysopidae), or light brown (Hemerobiidae) with large translucent membranous wings (A) that are held roof-like over the body. Brown lacewings are typically half the size of green lacewings. The larva has a tapered abdomen and large mandibles (B). Chrysopid eggs (1 mm) are whitish green and are deposited, singly or grouped, on long thread-like stalks (C) (10 mm); those of hemerobiids are laid singly on plant surfaces without a stalk. Note: Lacewings are sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Lady beetles

    Adults are oval and convex in shape, often brightly colored (e.g., orange-red or yellow) and usually with black spots or marks on their wing covers (A, 2-spotted; B, 7-spotted), sometimes with a checkerboard appearance (C, 14-spotted). H. axyridis is one of the largest lady beetles present in apple orchards and the most voracious; they have an orange tint that may vary from dark to very faint. The number of spots can vary from none to 20 (D, E, F). Lady beetle larvae resemble small alligators [e.g., 7-spotted has a black head and is bluish gray with yellow spots, (G)]. Eggs are laid in masses (10–50) on the undersides of leaves, on fruit, and often close to aphid colonies. Note: Lady beetles are sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Minute pirate bug

    Adults are very similar in size to the mullein plant bug (Campylomma varbasci), but their head is narrower and their wings are colored contrasting white and black (A). Note: These bugs are sensitive to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.

  • Mullein plant bug

    Adult is grayish green with black spots on the legs (A). The nymph (B) resembles an apple aphid or a white apple leafhopper and is solitary, very mobile and lacks cornicles. Note: these bugs are sensitive to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.

  • Phytoseiid mites

    Adults have a translucent teardrop-shape body (A). A dark mark in the form of an "H" sometimes appears within their body. This mark is red when they feed on European red mites and yellow when they feed on twospotted spider mites. They move very rapidly on the leaves. Nymphs are similar in appearance, and pale colored (B). Eggs are elliptical and clear white (C). Note: These beneficial predators are very sensitive to pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides. Observations suggest that certain populations may develop resistance.

  • Red velvet mites

    Balaustium is a large, bright red mite with a tick-like shape and a dense velvet-like covering of dorsal setae; chelicerae are long and retractable (A). Moves very quickly over the plant surface. Allothrombium is also a bright red mite, but with few hairs and non-retractable chelicerae (B). Anystis is a small red mite that can be found moving rapidly along the foliage (C). Note: Sensitivity of these species to insecticides is not well known.

  • Spider mite destroyer

    Adults are oval, convex, uniformly shiny black, and covered with sparse, fine yellowish to white hairs (A). The larva is gray to blackish and has many long-branched hairs and black patches (B). As the larva matures, it becomes reddish, at first on the edges of the body, and eventually entirely just prior to pupation (C). Note: This species is sensitive to most broad-spectrum insecticides.

  • Spiders: Foliage Hunters

    The body of a spider is divided into two regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen. The cephalothorax bears the eyes (various numbers and arrangements), mouthparts, pedipalps and legs (four pairs), and the unsegmented abdomen bears the genital structures, spiracles, anus and spinnerets (silk-spinning structures). Jumping spiders (A), active hunters, are stout-bodied and short-legged with prominent front eyes and a rather hairy body that is often brightly colored or iridescent. Size ranges from 2–20 mm. These are often the most common spiders in the tree canopy. The two families of crab spiders are ambush hunters; sitting in wait for their prey. The first two pairs of legs face forward in a crab-like posture. Philodromid crab spiders (B) have flattened bodies and legs of equal length, whereas Thomisid crab spiders (C) have the first two pairs of legs longer than the others. Sac spiders (D) are pale and with few markings, and construct tubular retreats in rolled-up leaves. Note: Broad-spectrum insecticide applications in the summer are harmful to the establishment of spider populations.

  • Spiders: Foliage web-builders

    The body of a spider is divided into two regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen. The cephalothorax bears the eyes (various numbers and arrangements), mouthparts, pedipalps and legs (four pairs), and the unsegmented abdomen bears the genital structures, spiracles, anus and spinnerets (silk-spinning structures). Orb-weavers are usually large in size. Among them are the common garden spiders, which are often brightly colored, black and yellow or black and red (A). Cobweb spiders (B) often have a small cephalothorax and a large, rounded abdomen, with the legs bent. They are usually found hanging upside down in irregularly spun webs. Meshweb weavers (C) are small (mostly less than 1 cm) and stout. They often spin small webs in the concavity of the top surface of leaves. The sheet web spiders are also small and not often seen, although their webs are conspicuous, particularly when covered with dew. They are flat and sheetlike, sometimes bowl or dome-shaped, and usually with an irregular mesh of silk around or above the sheet. The spider is often found on the under side of the web. Note: Broad-spectrum insecticide applications in the summer are harmful to the establishment of spider populations.

  • Stigmaeid/"Yellow" mites

    Agistemus fleschneri is the principal species found in QC and northern ON orchards, while Zetzellia mali predominates in the US, southern ON and the maritime provinces. Immature stages are bright yellow. Adult females of Agistemus are orange-red (A) and can be confused with the European red mite (Panonychus ulmi), but do not possess its silky white hairs. Zetzellia adults are bright yellow (B), but can appear reddish after feeding on red mites (C). Eggs are round and yellow (D). Note: In general, these mites are sensitive to broad-spectrum insecticides, but less so than phytoseiid mites.

  • Stink bugs

    The adult has an oval shield-shaped body, grayish or brownish in color; a spur is present on each side of its thorax (A). Eggs, grouped in masses of 20 to 30, are in the shape of small barrels. They are gray, cream or gold-colored, decorated by a ring of small hairs. The nymphs are of contrasting colors (orange-red and black), without wings and round (B). Note: These bugs are sensitive to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.

  • Tachinid flies

    The adults are similar to a housefly but are covered with stiff hairs (A, center). The larvae have the appearance of small maggots and feed inside caterpillars and other hosts. Females lay their eggs on the back of several species of caterpillars, such as the obliquebanded leafroller [Choristoneura rosaceana. and (A, right)], stink bugs and on the cocoons of the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria). The pupa of A. interrupta often can be found on the leaf next to the dead obliquebanded leafroller larva (A, left).

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.