NC State Extension

Predators in Soybeans

Bigeyed Bug

Adults have large and wide eyes and brown and yellow coloring. Immatures have grey and black coloration with the same wide eyes as the adult. They are generalist feeders on insect eggs, small caterpillars, whiteflies, aphids, thrips, flea beetles and spider mites.

Bigeyed bug adult, nymph and egg. Photo by UC Statewide IPM Project, University of California

Bigeyed bug adult, nymph and egg. Photo by UC Statewide IPM Project, University of California

Green Lacewing

The adults are green with lace-like wings and a soft body. Larvae are brown and yellow with an “alligator-like” shape and a tapered tail. Some adults can be predators but it depends on the species. The larvae are generalist feeders that can feed on insect eggs, spider mites, thrips, aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, mealy bugs, whiteflies and psyllids.

Green lacewing adult, egg, larva and pupa. Photo by UC Statewide IPM Project, University of California

Green lacewing adult, egg, larva and pupa. Photo by UC Statewide IPM Project, University of California

Lady Beetles

Adults have a dome-shaped body on top which is flat on the bottom. Their antennae and legs are short and they have red to orange or pink coloring with dark spots with varying number of spots. The larvae have an “alligator-like” shape and can have blue, yellow, orange and red markings. The eggs are yellow or orange and laid in clusters or singly.

Adult lady beetle feeding on soybean aphids. Photo by Marlin E. Rice

Adult lady beetle feeding on soybean aphids. Photo by Marlin E. Rice

 

Larval lady beetle preying on bean leaf beetle larvae

Larval lady beetle preying on bean leaf beetle larvae

Damsel (Nabid) Bug

Damsel bugs are brown colored with narrow heads and a long piercing-sucking mouthpart that is typically tucked under the body. The nymph looks similar to adults but does not have fully developed wings. They feed on caterpillar eggs and larvae, aphids, spider mites, fleahoppers, leafhoppers, treehoppers and lygus bugs.

Adult Damsel bug. Photo J. C. Jones.

Adult Damsel bug. Photo J. C. Jones.

Spined Soldier Bug

Spined soldier bug is a stink bug that has a broad shoulder that are pointed outwards. It is typically brown colored and can often be confused with stink bug pests. For quick identification, look for the pointed shoulders, alternating black and orange markings on the sides under wings, and a beak that is twice the width of the antennae. Spined soldier bugs prefer to feed on larvae like caterpillars and has been documented to feed on Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, and lygus bug nymphs.

Adult spined soldier bug preying on corn earworm. Photo by W. Sterling.

Predatory Mites

Predatory mites are small (0.5-0.8 mm) and prey on pest mite species. They can be located on the underside of leaves and near the midrib. They are generalist feeders but prey heavily on spider mites.

Predatory mite feeding on two-spotted spider mite. Photo by LyleBuss

Predatory mite feeding on two-spotted spider mite. Photo by Lyle
Buss

References

Frank, W. A. and J. E. Slosser. 1980. An Illustrated Guide to Predaceous Insects of the Northern Texas Rolling Plains. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Vernon, TX.

Wright, R.J., T.A. DeVries, and J.A. Kalisch. 2009. Beneficial Insects I. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Extension.

Wright, R.J., T.A. DeVries, and J.A. Kalisch. 2009. Beneficial Insects II. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Extension.

Information by R. Suits 2013

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