Glad so many of you enjoyed the thread-- Here are a few more insects for the list
Aphidoletes is a small fly that feeds on over 60 species of aphids.
The adults are free living, and the larval stages feed on aphids. It feeds by biting aphids in the legs and paralyzing them with a toxin before sucking out the aphid body fluids. If aphid populations are high, Aphidoletes will kill more aphids than they actually consume. They can be used in a variety of cultivated crops, and is perhaps under utilized for biocontrol of a variety of cropping systems.
Aphidoletes adults are not strong flyers, so they fly during the night when the air is calm. The adults are 2-3 mm (1/16 inch) long, and have distinctive long legs.
Females deposit 150-200 eggs on leaves The eggs are oval and shiny orange-red. The developing larvae will be orange colored, but may be brownish or grayish depending upon stomach contents. The Larva crawl on the leaf surface in search of aphid prey. Larvae may consume 3-50 aphids per day.
The Aphidious is a small parasitic wasp, native to North America. About 100 eggs are laid in aphids which the larvae subsequently develop. At 77 degrees F, 10 days are required from egg to adult for the Aphidious. At 70 degrees F, two weeks are required for development on the parasite. Up to 200-300 aphids are attacked by each female. Fertilized eggs develop into females, nonfertilized eggs develop into males.
Aphidious are great because they kill about 40 aphid species, primarily the green peach aphid and closely related species. This species occurs naturally outdoors and frequently parasitoses aphids are in green houses. Aphidious is a good searcher, and can locate new aphid colonies -- even when aphid populations are low.
This "adored" insect is a general predator of most pest insects, mites, eggs, or any insect in reach. Each egg case contains approximately 200 baby mantids. Use 3 cases per 5,000 square feet or 10-100 cases per year per acre. Attract to twigs, leaves, fences, and other vegetation.
It is the only known insect that can turn its head and look over its shoulder. (cool fact lol)
Beneficial Nematodes naturally occur in soil and are used to control soil pest insects and whenever larvae or grubs are present.
Beneficial nematodes only attack soil dwelling insects and leave plants and earthworms alone.
The beneficial nematodes enters the larva via mouth, anus or respiratory openings and starts to feed. This causes specific bacteria to emerge from the intestinal tract of the nematode. These spread inside the insect and multiply very rapidly. The bacteria convert host tissue into products which can easily be taken up by the nematodes. The soil dwelling insect dies within a few days. .... (kindof gross, yet wicked!)
FLY PREDATORS FOR CONTROLLING FLY POPULATIONS
Fly Parasites Predators are gnat-sized, nocturnal, burrowing insects which do not bite, or sting humans and animals. Adaptable to all climates, these parasites reproduce in one to two weeks, thus constantly replenishing the beneficial insect population.
In nature these tiny insect predators serve as a major check of fly populations by destroying flies in the immature maggot and pupa stages. Fly Parasite Predators are specific to flies, never attacking anything else.
THE PREDATORY SOIL MITE....
Hypoaspis miles feed upon small, soil inhabiting insects, mites, and all stages of springtails. Is primarily a predator of fungus gnat larvae in the soil, but it also consumes thrips pupae on the floor and soil surface of the area.
It is a scavenger and can feed on soil debris in the absence of thrips pupae and fungus gnat larvae. They are a native soil mite and can adapt to a variety of different growth mediums. They are less than 1 mm (1/20 inch) in size, light brown in color, and can be seen moving quickly on the soil surface and base of plants.
Hypoaspis are used primarily for control of fungus gnats, but they also help with western flower thrips control.
Well everyone, thats all I got for now lol. Hope it helps some more of you out.