Scientific name: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
Mealybugs but feed on scales and aphids in the absence of mealybugs.
Eggs are yellow and are laid among the cottony egg sack produced by the mother mealybugs. The eggs develop into larvae in about 5 days.
The larva looks like mealybug. It has woolly appendages of wax but is twice as big as the adult mealybug. It grows up to 1.3 cm in length. It undergoes three larval stages, which lasted for about 12-17 days. The larva feeds on mealybug eggs, young crawlers, and the honeydew produced by mealybugs. It can consume up to 250 mealybugs.
The pupa is found in sheltered stems. The pupal stage lasts for about 7-10 days.
Adult mealybug destroyer is dark brown or blackish beetle. It has orangish head with reddish abdomen. It is small, about 3-4 mm long. A female can lay up to 10 eggs a day in a mealybug colony or in a group of mealybug eggs. It may live up to 2 months.
Mealybug destroyers only thrive when there are mealybugs. They feed on mealybugs, which are necessary for their reproduction. Members of carrot (fennel, dill, angelica, tansy) and sunflower families (goldenrod, coreopsis, sunflower, and yarrow) are good habitats for adult mealybug destroyers.
- ATTRA. (2003): Plants that attract beneficials. http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/farmscaping/fsappendixa.html
- Mahr, D.; Ridgeway, N. (1991): Biological control of insects and mites: An introduction to beneficial natural enemies and their use in pest management. North Center. Reg. Ext. Publ. No. 481.
- Sadof, C. (1995): Know Your Friends: Mealybug destroyer. Midwest Biological Control News Online. Vol. II No. 5.
- University of Alaska. (2003): Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. Technical Bulletin- biological Control Series. IPM of Alaska. University of Alaska.