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Title: Beneficial Insects The Importance of Conserving and Promoting Their Biodiversity


1
Beneficial InsectsThe Importance of Conserving
and Promoting Their Biodiversity
  • Fred Santana, Ph.D.
  • Sarasota Co. Cooperative Extension
  • 941/861-9849

2
TOP TEN BENEFICIAL INSECT GROUPS
  • Important to Recognize, Conserve, and Encourage
    Their Biodiversity

3
Give Bugs a Break! Less than 1 of Insects in
Your Yard are True Pests
Small-footed fly
4
BENEFICIALS
Also called Natural Enemies (more inclusive
term) Everyone can recognize a bug but not if it
is good or bad Bugs often have a bad name due to
the reputation of a few pest or nuisance insects
Ladybug larva
5
IF IT IS A BUG, KILL IT
  • No easy way
  • to determine
  • good from bad
  • Many common
  • beneficial insects
  • in our backyards
  • Need to recognize and consider their presence in
    planning and maintaining gardens and landscapes

Scoliid Wasp
Big-eyed bug
6
HOW DO WE BEGIN TO PRESERVE BENEFICIALS?
  • Learn to recognize natural enemies
  • Classes, manuals, field guides, fact sheets,
    local
  • cooperative extension agents
  • How much damage is being done? May not require
  • control
  • Think before spraying - is it a pest?
    Insecticides kill
  • beneficials as well as pests
  • If control is needed, use least toxic materials
  • and target spray or use granules to reduce
    contact
  • with nontarget insects
  • Plant a diverse garden

7
Useful Publications For Identifying Beneficials
8
Univ. Florida Extension Publications on the
Internet
  • Http//edis.ifas.ufl.edu
  • Database of all current cooperative extension
    publications that are searchable and free for
    hard copy printing
  • Http//ifasbooks.ufl.edu
  • Extension bookstore - online catalog of resource
    publications covering all areas of extension
    research (1-800-226-1764)
  • Http//creatures.ifas.ufl.edu
  • In depth profiles of insects and other organisms

9
WHAT ARE BENEFICIAL INSECTS/ARTHROPODS?
  • Any arthropods that preys upon a harmful insect
    that damages your garden or crop.
  • Reduces their numbers (kill) or their
    reproductive potential
  • Includes Predators and Parasitoids

10
Biological Control
  • The use of natural enemies to control pests
  • Predators
  • Parasitoids
  • Pathogens

11
Predators
Insects, mites and spiders that attack and feed
on their prey Kill and consume many victims in
their lifetime. Some are specialists but most are
generalized feeders
12
Parasitoids
An organism that lives in or on the body of its
host Kill or consume their victim Usually
parasitize only one host at a time
Parasitized aphids
13
Beneficial Insects At Work - Mealybug Infestation
on Grapefruit
Sweet feeding ants tending citrus mealybugs
- Collecting honey- dew and spreading mealybugs a
round
14
Honeydew Is An Important Source Of Carbohydrates
(Sugar) For Ants
15
Mealybugs Have Spread Over A Large Surface Area
Of The Grapefruit
16
Tiny Encyrtid Wasps Begin Showing Up Parasitizing
The Mealybugs
17
Mealybug Parasitic Wasp Introduced Into the U.S.
Leptomastix dactylopii Introduced from
Brazil Can search out very small mealybug
populations Wasps can be purchased from
biological control suppliers
18
Mealybug Destroyer Lady Bug Larvae Show up After
the Wasps
Lady bug species that specializes in mealybugs
19
Adult Mealybug Destroyer Ladybug Also Feeds On
Mealybugs
Introduced into U.S. to prey on mealybugs- eating
what wasps missed
20
In the End, The Grapefruit Survived Saved by
Beneficials
before
It was not necessary To spray Spraying would
have killed beneficial insects 100s of more
wasps and ladybug beetles have reproduced to
search for more mealy-bugs
AFTER
before
21
IMPORTANT BENEFICIAL INSECT GROUPS
  • Lady Beetles (Ladybugs) Predatory Other Beetles
  • Parasitic Wasps Predatory True Bugs
  • Parasitic Flies Predatory Wasps
  • Tachinid Flies Earwigs
  • Ant Decapitating Flies Spiders
  • Predatory Flies
  • Lace Wing Bugs

22
Pray Mantids
  • Among the best known insect predators
  • Not as common in urban gardens anymore
  • Sold as egg cases for release
  • Feed on all kinds of insects, including
    beneficial species
  • Highly cannibalistic eat their siblings
  • Not recommended for use in controlling pests

23
Praying Mantids
24
LADY BEETLES
Beneficial insects which help control many pests.
Feed on soft-bodied Insects and mites
Asian multicolored lady beetle
Adults and larvae actively feed Convex,
dome-shaped black, or orange colored with
spots, or no spots 1/16-1/3 inch long
25
Attracted to Aphids, Lady Beetles Lay Eggs and
Larvae begin Feeding
Eggs
common Australian lady beetle larva
26
Common Australian Lady Beetle Larvae
27
In A Week Larvae Have Consumed The Aphids And
Only Pupae Remain To Indicate That Predation Had
Occurred
(Common Australian Lady Beetle Pupae )
After
Coleophora inaequalis
Before
28
Common Australian Lady Beetle Adults
29
Lady Beetles At Work Eating Aphids
Milkweed aphids -infestation of giant milkweed
30
Common Australian Lady Beetle Eating an Aphid
31
ASIAN MULTICOLORED LADY BEETLE
32
Asian Multicolored L.B. Larva Preying on Brown
Citrus Aphids
33
Twice-stabbed lady beetle Adults, larva, and pupae
pupae
Feed on scale insects
34
Lady Beetle Larvae Have Many Shapes and Forms
35
Where To Purchase Beneficials For Your Garden?
  • The IPM Practitioner's, Directory of least-toxic
    pest control products is a good source of
    biological and least-toxic agents and materials
  • Florida Suppliers
  • EcoSolutions, Palm Harbor, 727/ 787-3669
  • Florikan, Sarasota, 941/ 377-8666
  • Natural Animal Health Products, St. Augustine,
    904/824-5884

36
Purchasing Beneficials
  • Be sure beneficials target your pest bug
  • Order freshest bugs, request fast delivery
  • Give them water in shallow dish with a pebble for
    them to perch on
  • Acclimate them gradually Release in cage, or
    release at night so they will settle in

37
Purchasing Beneficials
  • Some catalogs offer stay at home beetles-
    Preconditioned to stay close. Ask for trained
    bugs
  • Hold off use of pesticides
  • Buy from reputable dealer Check with
    Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers
    http//www.anbp.org

38
Help Beneficials by Spot Treating Pests with
Soaps or Light Oils
Target soaps or oils to site of aphid infestations
Brown Citrus Aphid
39
Affect of Soap on Aphids
Clumps and overturns aphids, suffocating them in
sticky masses
40
PARASITIC WASPScomprise One of the
LargestParasitic Insect Groups
Chalcicd wasp, parasitic on butterflies, moths
and flies
41
Extremely large group. Very important. Lay eggs
on or in their host 1,000s of species of
parasitic wasps in over 40 families of
Hymenoptera Most are small to minute Do not
sting people
42
Parasitic wasp of aphids and parasitized aphids
Parasitized aphids are either black, or tan and
golden
43
Tiny Wasp Protecting CropsPeristenus digoneutis
Wasp reduced tarnished plant bug by 65 in
Alfalfa fields and 63 in Apple Orchards in the
Northeast Introduced from Europe in 1979
44
Parasitized Scale Insects
Each scale has a small hole from which a
parasitic wasp has emerged
45
Horn Worm Caterpillar parasitized by braconid
wasps
46
Braconid wasps spinning external jacket of silk
in which they pupate
Parasitized wooly bear caterpillar
47
Predatory True BugsMost true bugs are plant
pests but some have adopted predaceous habitsAll
have beaklike piercing sucking mouthparts to
stab prey - can bite
Assassin Bug
Predatory stink bug
48
Difference Between Predatory and Pest Stink Bugs
Predatory stink bug- pointed shoulders
Pest stink bug--Round shoulders
49
Predatory Stink Bug Feeding on a Orange-Barred
Sulfur Caterpillar
50
Assassin Bug (Generalist Predator) Feeding on a
Ladybird beetle
51
Assassin Bug Zelus bilobus
Feeding on a small fly
52
Predatory Ground Beetles
Tiger beetle
Carabid Ground Beetles
Caterpillar hunter
53
A Large Predatory Ground Beetle That Lives In
Turf (Eats Mole Crickets And Caterpillars)
Pasimachus sublaevis
54
PREDATORY WASPS Paper Wasps, Hornets, Yellow
Jackets, and Mud Daubers - Both Beneficial and
Problematic
Constantly search for caterpillars, other
insects, and spiders to feed their young
55
paper wasp
yellow jacket
paper wasp
paper wasp nest
56
Mud Dauber Wasps Prey on spiders
57
Sand Wasps
Capture flies, especially horse flies--Do not
aggressively defend their nests
58
Potter Wasps
Build mud nest in the shape of narrow-mouthed
pots Stock the pots with several caterpillars
59
Scarab Hunter Wasps(Scoliid and Tiphiid Wasps)
60
Tiphiid Wasps Gather To Roost On Plants In The
Late Afternoon And Evening HoursLarvae are
reported to be parasitic on white grubs
five banded tiphiid wasps
61
Parasitic FliesSecond in Importance to Wasps as
Parasites of PestsOver 16,000 flies are Parasitic
Tachinid fly
Conopid fly
62
Tachinid FliesThe Most Important Family of Flies
Providing Biological Control of Pests
63
Leaf-footed Bug With Eggs Layed By Tachinid Fly
On Its Head
64
ANT DECAPITATING FLIESIntroduced by USDA,
Gainesville, FL, to Reduce the Problem of Fire
Ants
65
Ant Decapitating Flies - Cause the Head of Fire
Ant to Drop Off
  • Only parasitize Imported Fire Ants
  • Belong to family Phoridae Phorid Flies
  • Larva lives in head of Ant- Very Small in size

66
Ant decapitating fly life history causes fire
ant head to drop off
67
Predatory Flies
Most frequently observed of the predaceous flies
are flower flies. Larval stages of many syrphids
are important as predators of aphids
Flower fly larva (Syrphid)
Flower fly (syrphid)
68
Common flower flies found in the garden
69
Predaceous Flower Fly Larva searching for aphids
while rover ant tends them
70
Syrphid Larva Eating an Aphid
71
Green Lacewings Feed On Aphids
72
Green LacewingsEggs are laid
singly on silken stalksLarvae flattened and
tapered, alligator like, with long, curved
mandibles for puncturingand sucking fluid out of
their prey
73
Brown Lacewing Larva Preying on an Aphid
74
Earwigs
Most earwig are beneficial predators that feed on
other insects ¼ to 1inch long Flattened
bodies Active at night Forceps-like cerci at the
end of the body to capture prey and defend
themselves
75
SPIDERS
  • All are predaceous, mainly eat insects
  • Capture prey in webs or stalk it on ground or
    vegetation
  • Indiscriminant feeders whatever they can catch
    on ground or vegetation or in webs
  • Most are harmless they avoid people
  • Widow spiders occur here but not the brown
    recluse spider

76
Widow Spiders
brown widow egg sac with spiklike protuberances
black widow egg sac smooth
Brown widow hourglass orange
brown widow
77
Jumping Spider, Family Salticidae
78
WOLF SPIDERS Many Species
Bite not dangerous to humans
79
Crab Spider Feeding on Fly Spiders are
Beneficial Inhabitants of Any Garden
80
black yellow argiope
Southern house spider
Black and yellow argiope
Black and yellow argiope
orchard spider
green lynx spider
81
Steps to Take in Conserving Beneficial Insects
  • Recognize the difference between pests and
    natural enemies
  • Minimize Chemical Sprays - use least toxic
    methods like soaps and oils and target or spot
    treat applications
  • Grow a diverse garden
  • Grow flowering plants that provide nectar
  • Let a few plants with aphids survive

82
Invite Beneficials to Spend Time in Your Garden
  • How? Grow Insectary Plants
  • Insectary plants provide protein (pollen) and
    carbohydrates (nectar)
  • Beneficials feed on insectary plants when pest
    insects are in short supply
  • Some adult beneficials feed on only nectar and
    pollen and their larvae feed on pests

83
What Beneficials Want
  • Shallow flowers with nice landing platform, and
    exposed nectaries
  • Flat-topped umbrella-shaped flowers dill,
    fennel, parsley, coriander
  • Daisylike flowers in composite family
  • Most beneficials are small with short mouthparts

84
Flowers That Attact Beneficial Insects
  • Anise hyssop (Agastche foeniculum
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Coreopsis (annuals and perennials)
  • Cosmos (annuals and perennials)
  • Fennel, Dill (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Golden marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)
  • Lavender
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Attracted all beneficial insect groups

85
Dill Flowers with Elongate Twig Ants (Nectar
Feeding and Predacious
86
Elongate Twig Ant Holding a Fly It Has Captured
87
Help Maintain Beneficials by Tolerating a Few
Plants That Harbor Aphids
Grow a crape myrtle tree. Crape myrtle aphids
serve as food for 20-30 beneficial insects. The
trees provide nectar and pollen to countless bees
and other beneficials during drought periods
88
Remember, in order to have beneficial insects
(good guys like ladybugs), there must be some
bad guys as food
89
When we kill off the natural enemies of a pest,
we inherit their work
Carl Huffaker
90
Change Your Attitude About Bugs
  • Next time you see a leaf thats been munched,
    take pride in the fact that you are providing
    habitat for another creature.
  • Instead of spraying, start studying
  • Get a hand lens that will help introduce you to
    life in your landscape
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