The Cryptolaemus Ladybird is a predatory ladybird. It is primarily a mealybug and scale predator, however it will also predate on a variety of alternative prey, including psyllids and aphids.
The Cryptolaemus Ladybird appears to survive and breed all year in New Zealand. Several generations will occur within one year.
The Pest – Mealybugs
Many different species of mealybugs and scale are present in New Zealand, and not all species are necessarily suitable prey for the Cryptolaemus Ladybird. Some mealybug and scale species are quite specific to particular crops, while other species infest a wide range of crops.
Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that have oval bodies with a waxy coating, males and females have separate lifecycles. Female adult body length is normally 2-3 mm. The mealybugs tend to live in sheltered locations such as pushing up against the veins of plants. During the summer all life stages are found on leaves and fruit, however when the weather becomes colder, they relocate to more sheltered places such as under bark where they continue to reproduce
Three to four generations of mealybugs will typically occur in one year, varying according to seasonal factors and locality.
Symptoms and signs of mealybugs include:
The Solution – Cryptolaemus LadybirdThe Cryptolaemus Ladybird is a predatory ladybird of about 6mm in length, commonly recognised with the black body and red head.
Adults and larvae are mealybug and scale predators, feeding on all of the pest life stages.
The Cryptolaemus Ladybird undergoes an egg and larval stages before pupating and emerging as an adult. Development time from egg to adult takes around 40 days at 25⁰C, and longer at lower temperatures. Adults live for approximately 50 days and in this time lay up to 400 eggs.
Eggs are tiny and laid singly around areas of higher prey density.
Table of Cryptolaemus prey with host association index (0 to 10, where 10 is highly associated) from the Landcare Plant-SyNZ database (15 July 2017)
Our ladybirds are reared in our insectary, we do not collect ladybirds from the wild (for sale) as is practised in other parts of the world.
PRICE: $15.00 per 10 adults (minimum order) plus GST and Freight