Other Insects

General Information:

Spiders and predatory damsel and big-eyed bugs are known to be abundant and important predators, but there are many other insects that may prey on potato pests from time to time. Below are a few examples.

 

Flower fly larvae (Syrphidae)

Flower flies are also known as hover flies; the adults often mimic bees and feed on nectar, while the larvae are mostly predators of aphids and similar insects.

 

Lady Beetles (Coccinelidae)

The beetles many people know as “ladybugs” are also common in potato fields. Although they are most well-known as aphid predators, they are in fact generalist predators, interested in eating most insects that they can overcome.

Brown lacewings (Hemerobiidae)

Lacewings are voracious predators of aphids and other soft-bodied insects. They pierce their prey with the curved mouthparts and suck out the body fluids.

Aphidoletes midges (Cecidomyiidae)

Not as common as lady beetles and flower flies, predatory gall midges are undeniably cool – capable of overpowering and eating aphids much larger than themselves. Gall midge larvae are characteristically the reddish color seen in the photo below. Other, fungus-feeding, species of Cecidomyiidae are also sometimes seen in potato fields.