Beneficial Organisms of the Home Garden


A predaceous soldier beetle looking for aphids to eat. There are several species in this group of beneficial beetles. If you have aphids, count on this beetle as your friend in the garden as it will devour huge numbers of aphids.

Parasitic Wasps of Aphids (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae)



Aphid mummy -- this is a dead aphid that was parasitized by an aphid wasp. Note emergence hole on the dorsum of the aphid. (Picture courtesy of Bob Alde).

Parasitic Wasps of Scale Insects (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae)


Red Scale Wasp -- Tiny parasitic wasp ovipositing into a red scale insect

Other Parasitic Wasps


A hornworm parasitized by braconid wasps


The cocoon of a parasitic wasp on top of a leaf. This is all that is left after the wasp larva feeds on the insides of the caterpillar. A small parasitic wasp will emerge from this cocoon to repeat the cycle.



Lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)


The twice stabbed lady beetle and larvae feeding on scales.


One of many native ladybeetles that are present in our gardens


The Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle. One of the most abundant ladybeetles in the home garden.





The convertgent lady beetle is also very common especially in early spring when the aphids are abundant.


Adults are found in many of the flowering plants.


The larvae are very common around aphid infestations.


The ladybeetle pupae are often mistaken for beetle pests.



Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae)



Soldier Beetles (Coleoptera: Cantharidae)



A predaceous soldier beetle looking for aphids to eat



Green Lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)


Green lacewing adult


Green lacewing eggs


Green lacewing larva eating an aphid


Green lacewing larvae


Green lacewing larva showing sickel-like mandibles


Green lacewing larva on a stem of yellow starthistle



Brown Lacewings (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae)


Brown lacewing adult



Predaceous Flower Flies (Diptera: Syrphidae)


Flower fly adult nectaring on a flower


Flower fly larva feeding on an aphid


Flower fly larva on a rose leaf with bright yellow band on back


Flower fly larva on a rose leaf with bright yellow band on back



Praying Mantids (Orthoptera: Mantidae)


Praying mantid on a rose bloom waiting for prey to visit the rose for nectar or pollen


Praying mantids mating



Beneficial Fungal Diseases on Insects


Fly infected with beneficial fungus



If you have any questions or constructive comments, I would love to hear from you, please send e-mail to Baldo Villegas



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Last updated: February 12, 2003