Parasitic Wasps

Predatory/Parasitic Flies

Predatory Bugs


Predatory Beetles





Predatory Bugs - low dispersion when happy - stay in field/yard. Higher dispersion when prey is scarce. ID-Bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts like a small beak; most can give a mild bite if handled roughly.

1) Big-Eyed Bugs: Geocoris spp.; stout, small 1/8 inch long, has red eyes. Can feed on some seeds if prey is absent. We find it most often in the larger clovers (red, crimson, white). Attacks soft-bodied insects like aphids.

2) Nabid/Damsel Bug: Nabis spp. Adults are 1/4 inch long. Common in fields; also associated with clovers. Elongated brown body with raptorial front legs like a mantid. Good predator of small soft-bodied insects. It is also found in the clovers.

3) Minute Pirate Orius spp. - Very small - 1/16 inch long, wings are black with a clear spot (cuneus) on posterior wings, can also feed on pollen in absence of prey, so plants like corn can be helpful to pirate bugs - ahoy, matey! Aye cap'n - bring 'er about…If you are sweating in the field on a hot day, they will bite you. These can be purchased once and you can have them ever after. Very good egg predators against corn earworm, imported cabbageworm, cabbage looper, etc. Common around pollen plants like corn.

4) Predatory Stink bugs/Shield Bugs/Anchor Bugs - mouthparts (proboscis) are armored. Compare to a plant feeding stinkbug, whose proboscis is very narrow and slender. The 2-spotted stinkbug, Perillus bioculatus, attacks Colorado potato beetle larvae/adults. Very closely related bugs are shield bugs (Scutellidae) - good predators as well. Some predatory stink bugs give off a pheromone that tells other stinkbugs to stay around.

Assassin bug feeding on a sawfly larva. Wheel bug adult; these can bite, so watch out. Waterstriders are in the Family Gerridae, but are also important predators. Anchor bug nymph feeding on Cross striped cabbageworm.

5) Assassin and Ambush Bugs - green/brown/black/striped, larger bugs (1/2" long). Larger predators. Like soft bodied insect larvae. Ambush bugs hide in flowers and pounce on whatever comes along. Ambush and assassin bugs can inflict a painful bite, so be careful when handling - don't press 'em. If you get a good shot from one of these, the bite can hurt for 6 months or more (personal experience).