Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae: Scymninae): A Review of Biology, Ecology, and Use in Biological Control with Particular Reference to Potential Impact on Non-Target Organisms



Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae: Scymninae): a

review of biology, ecology, and use in biological control with particular

reference to potential impact on non-target organisms

Moses T.K. Kairo


*, Oulimathe Paraiso


, Ram Das Gautam


and Dorothy D. Peterkin




School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Suite 3055, Richard A. Hazel Hall,

Princess Anne, MD 21853, USA.


Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville,



Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India.


CABI, Gordon Street, Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago, West


*Correspondence: Moses Kairo. E-mail: mkairo@umes.edu

Received: 6 July 2012

Accepted: 19 November 2012

doi: 10.1079/PAVSNNR20138005

The electronic version of this article is the definitive one. It is located here: http://www.cabi.org/cabreviews

gCAB International 2013 (Online ISSN 1749-8848)


Over the years, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has been used in

both classical and augmentative biological control programmes. The ladybird is also considered

important in certain conservation biological control programmes. This paper provides a critical

review of the literature pertaining to its biology, ecology and use, with a particular emphasis on

potential impact on non-target organisms. C. montrouzieri has many of the attributes of an effective

natural enemy, including a rapid development rate, high reproductive potential, good adaptation to

a range of tropical and subtropical climates, high prey consumption rates by both adults and larvae

and ease of rearing. The coccinellid has been introduced into at least 64 countries/territories to

control more than 16 pest species. C. montrouzieri is a polyphagous predator that exploits hosts in

at least eight hemipteran families. It is noteworthy that it has adapted to feed on new insect

families in some new localities where it has been introduced. Although the wide host range has

allowed its use against a variety of pest species, it is also a good indicator of the potential to feed

on non-target species. In view of the continued interest to utilize the predator in new non-native

localities, questions have arisen regarding its potential to cause negative impacts, especially against

non-target organisms. Given the wide recorded host range, it seems unnecessary to conduct

additional host range tests as significant decisions can be made the available information.

Thus, when the available data are interpreted a centrifugal process, it is apparent that the

ladybird has a potentially very broad host range. Therefore, even without additional studies, it

would be reasonable to assume that the ladybird has the potential to extend its host range in

unpredictable ways. Clearly, the beetle would provide a good model for conducting post-release

studies, especially where the predator has been established for a long time. Such studies would not

only provide insight into the impact of introducing generalist non-native coccinellid predators but

also help to increase our understanding of the mechanisms limiting host range.

Keywords: Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Coccinellidae, Biological control, Biology, Ecology, Host range, Host

specificity, Pseudococcidae, Hemiptera


Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Cocci-

nellidae) is arguably one of the most widely used biological

control agents. The first introduction of this ladybird for

biological control dates back to 1891 when Albert

Koebele brought it into California for control of Plano-

coccus citri Risso [1]. Since then, the beetle has been

introduced into many countries around the world. Most

recently, it was introduced in parts of the Caribbean and


CAB Reviews 2013 8, No. 005

Central and South America for control of the hibiscus

mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green [2–5]. The lady-

bird is also used in augmentation programmes against

several pests around the world [6–12]. Its use has not

been without controversy and one important area where

concerns have been raised has to do with its host range

and potential impact on non-target organisms. Such

concerns are, however, not limited to C. montrouzieri

alone as indeed, recent years have seen increased general

interest and concerns regarding the potential negative

impact of introduced biological control agents [30–32].

Despite these concerns, the importance of biological

control for the management of both native and non-native

pests cannot be overstated. It is therefore vital that

strategies for the mitigation of risks associated with bio-

logical control introductions are developed. This has been

the topic of several international meetings, most notably

the one organized by the IOBC during 1999 [33].

The ratification in 1996 of an internationally accepted

code of conduct outlining guidelines for the introduction

and release of natural enemies [34] was a significant step.

This third international standard for phytosanitary mea-

sures (ISPM # 3) was later revised to include beneficial

organisms [35]. One of the requirements of the standard

is that prior to the introduction of a prospective biological

control agent, a critical assessment of the host range and

risks of introduction should be carried out. This infor-

mation is typically summarized in a dossier, which is meant

to assist importing countries make an informed decision

on whether or not to introduce a particular agent. Indeed,

the idea for the present paper originated from prepara-

tion of such a dossier on C. montrouzieri [36, 37].

While standard methods for assessing the host

range for weed biological control agents have been well

established, a similar approach for natural enemies of

arthropod pests has been difficult to implement. Recent

years have seen considerable interest in the development

of a framework including methods and decision-making

mechanisms that can be used to assess natural enemies of

arthropod pests [38–41]. This paper provides a critical

appraisal of the available information on the biology,

ecology and use of the organism in biological control.

Particular attention is given to host range and potential

impact on non-target organisms. It is anticipated that,

in addition to providing key information, this article will

highlight gaps in knowledge on the use of this ladybird

and similar species. In particular, it provides a basis for

the future assessment of species for which there is a

considerable amount of information.

Taxonomy, Origin and Distribution

C. montrouzieri was first described by Mulsant [42] and the

genus was later reviewed by Cockrell [43] and Korschefsky

[44]. A more recent revision of the genus recognized

two subspecies, C. montrouzieri and the less common

C. montrouzieri simplex Blackburn [45]. C. montrouzieri can

be separated from all other known species of the genus

by coloration; it is the only species with dark tibiae.

C. montrouzieri is native to the Australasian Zoogeographic

Region. However, it now has a world-wide distribution,

having been introduced into at least 64 countries in North

and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania

and Europe (Table 2 and Figure 1). There is little infor-

mation available on the natural spread of C. montrouzieri

into new countries adjacent to those where it was

introduced. However, this would seem ly which sug-

gests that the distribution may be even wider.

Developmental and Reproductive Biology

The biology of C. montrouzieri has been widely reported

[5, 11, 15, 17, 20, 105, 127–133]. these reports,

the salient biological features are summarized in Table 1

and a brief discussion is provided below. Under laboratory

conditions ranging from 25 to 29C and 58–64%

RH, development from egg to adult is completed in

27–30 days. Adults spend about a day in the pupal case

before emergence. A sex ratio of 1 : 1 is common and

adults have a pre-mating period of 5–7 days. Females mate

repeatedly throughout their life and may receive sper-

matozoa from 3 to 4 males at a time. Frequent multiple

matings help keep the population of C. montrouzieri

genetically diversified [134]. The pre-oviposition period

ranges from 10 to 16 days. Adult longevity ranges

between 50 and 110 days under controlled temperature

(25–30C). The average fecundity of C. montrouzieri is

211 eggs per female, although a maximum fecundity of

500 eggs per female has been reported.

Prey Location

Adult C. montrouzieri locate their prey using visual and

chemical stimuli [92]. Larvae perceive prey only when

there is actual physical contact. The wax secretions and

honeydew produced by host mealybugs act as attractants

as well as oviposition stimulants for C. montrouzieri [135,

136]. Studies have also shown that oviposition may be

suppressed by an oviposition deterring pheromone asso-

ciated with the waxy filaments produced by conspecific

larvae [137].

Feeding Patterns and Predatory Potential

Both larvae and adults are voracious feeders, which prey

on all stages of the mealybug hosts. Predation rates are

higher for adult females than for males [138]. Each larva

can consume 900–1500 M. hirsutus eggs or 300 nymphs

or 30 adults during its development [105]. Mani and

Thontadaraya [15] report an average consumption of


2 CAB Reviews

Table 1 Developmental periods of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri reared on selected hosts







Developmental stage (days)




time Larval Prepupal Pupal









M. hirsutus Green 20 6.2 26.9 17.7 14.3 109.00 122.40 65.10 [13]

M. hirsutus 20 75 8.35 33.26 3.25 11.94 307.70–390 231.05–295.99 [14]

M. hirsutus 24–28 58–64 4.10 22.80 2.15 8.50 55.90 61.40 29.15 [15]

M. hirsutus 4.78 23.9 2.80 2.96 72.38 77.44 39.86+0.43 [16]

M. hirsutus 5–6 11–15 3–4 7–8 26–33 [17]

M. hirsutus 25 6.1 18.8 11.1 10.7 46.70 [13]

M. hirsutus 25 75 4.43 20.71 1.75 6.58 155.35–258.33 212.21–364.50 [14]

M. hirsutus 25–31 65–72 3–7 19–33 2–3 6–10 69.70 74.70 30–53 [11]

M. hirsutus 25.2 5.9–6 17.7–19.1 9.6–10.4 8.4–8.7 42.70–43.10 [13]

M. hirsutus 27.2 3.5 11.9 7.2 6 28.60 [13]

M. hirsutus 27.4 3.2 12.1 7 5.5 27.80 [13]

M. hirsutus 27.5 3.3 11.6 7.1 6.1 28.10 [13]

M. hirsutus 28 55+5 3–5 12–15 5–7 60–110 200–500 20–27 [18]

M. hirsutus 28 3 11.5 7 6.2 27.90 [13]

M. hirsutus 28.9 3 10.5 6.8 5.9 26.20 [13]

M. hirsutus 29.5 2.4 10.1 6.4 6.6 25.50 [13]

M. hirsutus 30 3 10.3 5.5 6.2 81.70 94.80 25.20 [13]

M. hirsutus 30 75 3.90 16.02 1.46 5.96 103.51–77.57 161.50–129.56 [14]

M. hirsutus 35 75 4.20 15.13 1.41 5.29 68.75–48 90.53–80.60 [14]


madeirensis Green

17+237+5 11.07 22.13 15.2 12.3 59.98 [19]

P. madeirensis 20+240+5 7.09 10.77 7.65 11.87 37.38 [19, 20]

P. madeirensis 27+250+5 6 8.3 5.7 9.5 29.50 [21]

P. madeirensis 28+180+5 5 7.36 4.98 9.35 26.69 [19]

P. madeirensis 28+244+5 5.12 9.43 5.41 9.72 29.68 [19, 22]


solenopsis Tinsley

27+265+5 5.5 10.6 4.2 10.8 86.60 97.80 31.10+0.60 [23]

P. solenopsis 4.88 25.72 8.08 8.28 78.44 80.49 42.08+0.38 [16]

Planococcus citri 27+165+5 4.00 13.00 2.45 7.80 125.33 52.35+1.3 [24]

Источник: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258727923_Cryptolaemus_montrouzieri_Mulsant_Coccinellidae_Scymninae_A_Review_of_Biology_Ecology_and_Use_in_Biological_Control_with_Particular_Reference_to_Potential_Impact_on_Non-Target_Organisms

Bio® Cryptolaemus – Bio Bee Biological Systems


The predatory beetle, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Mealybug Ladybird) of the Coccinellidae family is a generalist predator of mealybugs.

Native of Australia and introduced into several countries such as India, New Zealand, UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, Hawaii, Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, USA, Bermuda, Israel, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Egypt, South Africa, Trinidad, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts, and St. Lucia.

Target Pests

C. montrouzieri attacks the citrus mealybug and other closely related mealybug species as well as several soft scales, including hemispherical scale and its relatives.

It is considered an important predator of the citrus and long-tailed mealybugs in greenhouses and interior plantscapes and efficiently controls the pink hibiscus mealybug. C.

montrouzieri prey includes members of the families: Aleyrodidae, Aphididae, Coccoidea, Psyllidae, Noctuidae etc.


C. montrouzieri preys on mealybugs and soft scales in vegetables, flowers, ornamentals, citrus, vineyards, field and fruit crops. Mealybugs and soft scales infest many crops including: guava, mango, grapevine, citrus, coffee, ornamental plants, mulberry, etc.


C. montrouzieri is a small dark brown beetle, about 4 mm long with an orange head, prothorax, wing tips and abdomen. C. montrouzieri eggs are yellow.

Bio® Cryptolaemus – The Product

  • C. montrouzieri is packed in boxes containing 250 or 500 adult beetles. Honey-soaked paper serves as food for the adult beetles in the product container.
  • The predators are released by removing the package’s lid and either placing it adjacent to the mealybug-infested spot or, while walking between the plants, tapping the package gently and letting the beetles fly out towards the plants.
  • If necessary, Bio®Cryptolaemus can be stored for 24 hours at a temperature of 10-12°C from the moment of arrival until release. The product should never be frozen.
  • Bio®Cryptolaemus is compatible with selected conventional chemicals (according to the list of compatible chemicals approved by BioBee).


  • Bio®Cryptolaemus is shipped in isolated styrofoam packages chilled with icepacks. This packaging must be kept intact until it reaches the end-user. When applied, the boxes should be taken from the shipment package one by one and the predators should be released immediately.
  • About 3 weeks to one month following the predatory beetles’ release (depending upon temperature), their larval offspring are clearly seen within the mealybug-infested spot. Remains of dead mealybugs, preyed upon by Bio®Cryptolaemus, are also visible. The subsequent established generations of the predatory beetle will effectively control the mealybugs in the long run. C. montrouzieri and the mealybug parasitoid Anagyrus pseudococci (Bio®Anagyrus) complement each other:  The former seeks dense populations of mealybug pests. Hence it is effective in mealybug hot spots. The latter is a superior searcher for mealybugs at low infestation rate. Therefore it is best used under initial/scarce infestation by mealybugs. The predatory beetle does not discriminate between non-parasitized mealybugs and those inhabited by early stages of the parasitic wasp. Consequently, it may consume early-parasitized mealybugs. However, once the parasitized mealybug mummifies, the predatory beetle avoids it completely. Thus the two natural enemies may co-exist in the same habitat and establish long-lasting control of mealybugs.
  • The rate and frequency of Bio®Cryptolaemus release may differ from one host plant and/or habitat to another. Introduction rate should be determined according to the nature of the crop (open field or protected) and according to the rate of mealybug infestation.
  • If ants are present at the mealybug hot spots, they must be destroyed. Ants encourage honeydew secretion by the mealybugs, transferring them from one place to another while protecting them vigorously from the predators.

For more information please contact us.


BioBee Sde Eliyahu Ltd. produces and markets biological products. Production is carried out using innovative techniques under controlled quality assurance standards such as ISO 9001:2008, as well as IOBC’s international standards for mass-production of insects.All products are tested to meet specification requirements before leaving the factory.

BioBee is not responsible for the outcome of implementation in the field, as it has no control over the method of application, local conditions, treatment/storage of product not according to instructions, etc.

Источник: https://www.biobee.com/biological-ipm/solutions/biocryptolaemus/

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri


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Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Mealybug Destroyer

This beetle was imported into the United States in 1891 from Australia by one of the early biological control pioneers, Albert Koebele, to control citrus mealybug in California. Although C. montrouzieri initially devastated the citrus mealybug populations in citrus groves, it was unable to survive the winter except in coastal areas.


Cryptolaemus montrouzieri is a small (about 3-4 mm long), dark brown lady beetle with a tan to orange head and posterior. The larvae grow up to 1.

3 cm in length and have woolly appendages of wax (their true legs are barely visible underneath) which makes them resemble mealybugs, although they are about twice as large as the adult female citrus mealybug. C.

montrouzieri eggs are yellow.
C. montrouzieri adult eating mealybugs. M. J. Raupp


Citrus groves in the coastal areas of California, interiorscapes, and greenhouses. In addition, C. montrouzieri is released seasonally into inland citrus orchards.

Pests Attacked (Host Range)

C. montrouzieri attacks citrus and closely related mealybugs and some soft scales, including hemispherical scale and its relatives. It is considered an important predator of citrus and long-tailed mealybug in greenhouses and interior plantscapes and is being introduced in a biocontrol program in the West Indies to control pink hibiscus mealybug.

Life Cycle

Adult females lay eggs among the cottony egg sack of adult female mealybugs. Eggs hatch into larvae in about 5 days at 27°C (80°F). The three larval stages last from 12-17 days during which the larvae feed on mealybug eggs, young crawlers, and the honeydew produced by mealybugs.

Life cycle of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. Courtesy Applied Bio Pest

C. montrouzieri pupates in sheltered places on stems or on greenhouse structures. Adults emerge after 7-10 days and live four months. Four days after emerging, adult females begin to lay eggs, and the lifetime total may be as many as 400. Adults may live up to 2 months.

Relative Effectiveness

C. montrouzieri is a voracious feeder of mealybug in both the larval and adult stages – a single larva may consume up to 250 small mealybugs. They are most effective when mealybug populations are high, and repeated releases may be necessary if mealybug populations are low.

They require cottony egg masses for egg-laying (long-tailed mealybugs do not have cottony egg masses). Although adults and young larvae prefer to feed on mealybug eggs, older larvae will attack any mealybug stage. Adults can fly and cover large areas to search for food. If mealybugs are scarce, they will fly off in search of other related insects, e.g.

aphids and soft scales, although reproduction is substantially greater on mealybugs.

Because C. montrouzieri cannot survive cold winters, they must be reintroduced into orchards where mealybugs were a problem the previous year in the early spring . The exception is moderate coastal regions.

other ladybeetles, C. montrouzieri tends to disperse when released. In indoor sites, keep windows and vents closed the day of release. Recent studies have shown that adults and larvae will spend more time searching a leaf for mealybugs if it has honeydew than if honeydew is absent.

Although mealybug destroyers will not persist after the mealybug population has been controlled in small greenhouse areas, in more complex interior areas where there are multiple infestation sites and alternate prey, they do perist. In Indianapolis, a single release of 100 beetles has persisted for over 5 years. If birds exist in interiorscapes, however, they will feed on adult beetles.


It is important to remember that C. montrouzieri superficially resembles its prey, the mealybug. This can cause problems if large numbers of larvae are present on crops that are ready to be shipped or in indoor situations (such as malls) where the public may be unaware of the benefits of natural enemies.

For general information about conservation of natural enemies, see Conservation in the Tutorial section on this site, Feature Article on conservation in Volume II, No. 1 of Midwest Biological Control News.

Pesticide Susceptibility

Little is known.

Commercial Availability

Readily available from commercial suppliers (see the off-site publication, Suppliers of Beneficial Organisms in North America).

Adapted from:

Sadof, Cliff (1995) Know Your Friends: Mealybug Destroyer, Midwest Biological Control News Online, II:5. and Applied Bio Pest (1997) Lifecycle of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Oxnard, CA 93035.

Photograph from Raupp, M.J., Van Driesche, R.G., and Davidson, J.A. (1993) Biological Control of Insect and Mite Pests of Woody Landscape Plants: Concepts, Agents and Methods. University of Maryland, College Park, MD. 39 pp. For information contact: Agricultural Duplicating Service, 6200 Sheridan Street, Riverdale, MD, 20737. Tel: 301-403-4264.

Back to Predators Table of Contents

C. montrouzieri adult eating mealybugs. Photo: M. J. Raupp

Источник: https://biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/predators/Cryptolaemus.php

CRYPTOforce™ for Mealybug Control


CRYPTOforce™ (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri), also known as “Mealybug Destroyers” and the name says it all. CRYPTOforce™, with their shiny black body and dull-orange head and thorax, definitely prefer to dine on mealybugs. They can clean up large populations.

However, as most beetles are, CRYPTOforce™ is very opportunistic and will eat pests other than mealybugs: other scale insects (their crawlers or immature forms), insect eggs, etc. We do not recommend using these beetles for other pests, though. Control of other pests might not be obtainable with typical CRYPTOforce™ releases.

Coincidental cross-predation should be regarded as a bonus of the application and nothing more.

CRYPTOforce™ is shipped as pre-fed, pre-mated, insectary-reared adults.

Some popular prey of these beetles include: the citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri); the comstock mealybug (Pseudococcus comstocki); the obscure mealybug (Pseudococcus obscurus); the solenopsis mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis); the Mexican mealybug (Phenacoccus gossypii) and many other related species, even the long-tailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus) can be consumed with greedy abandon, but only if it is present with another species which produce cottony egg-masses.

The large 5 mm.

Australian, adult female beetles lay their eggs in the cottony egg-masses produced by the pests — one egg per mass, usually, and up to 10 of them per day, for up to 50 days! The eggs hatch into white, shaggy-coated larvae which, to the inexperienced, look mealybugs (a wolf in sheep’s clothing). These, too, are fierce predators, growing up to 1 cm. long and consuming 250 or so small mealybugs and their eggs (they’ll always eat the youngest first).

The life-span of these predators is roughly ~3 weeks in their immature stages, then around ~1 month as adults. The conditions for optimum performance will be between 64-91°F with a relative humidity of 70% or greater.

But these are optimum conditions, and not necessarily a prerequisite of successful implementation.

Please note, however, significantly cooler or warmer temperatures and humidity fluctuations may hamper reproduction and development a certain degree.

Adult beetle presence, larval presence, reduction of pest numbers, “exploded” mealybug egg-masses. These are all signs that CRYPTOforce™ is hard at work.

CRYPTOforce™ need to lay their eggs in the cottony egg-masses of their prey (as discussed under Description and Life-style).

Since long-tailed mealybugs don’t lay eggs, but rather give live-birth, as aphids do, they provide no cottony masses in which the beetles can lay their eggs.

This is not a problem if your site has more than one species (assuming the other species does produce the egg-masses). CRYPTOforce™ will eat immature long-tailed mealybugs with great joy, they just can’t reproduce on them.

A long-tailed-mealybug-only infestation can be overcome a couple of different ways:

Long-Tailed Mealybug Control Options

  • You can place little bits of synthetic quilt batting (available from craft stores) amongst the long-tailed mealybug populace. (Avoid cotton balls as they may contain pesticide residues.) We’re not completely sure how well this works, but a number of folks have tried it, experimentally, and reported satisfactory results. Also, try placing white 3″ x 5″ index cards, halved, by groupings of the pests to lure the beetles in.
  • Employ the Chrysoperla spp. (green lacewings) at the site. We’ve been told on numerous occasions that they do an excellent job. Use only the eggs or the larvae, however. Preferably the larvae. The adults will not do too well as they’ll be seeking out aphid colonies near which they can lay their eggs.

Aside from misting the site with water before releasing and doing so in the evening (sometimes not necessary in interiors), there are other things you can do to ensure the maximum number of beetles stick around.

Flowering, pollen producing plants are a big plus to CRYPTOforce™.

Pollen isn’t the only thing these beetles will eat. They will also consume mealybug honeydew; they produce a lot. A honeydew substitute product may help encourage the beetles.

Ants, if present, should be controlled. They will defend mealybugs from predators and parasites to protect their honeydew/excrement food. Use barrier products or boric acid products to control the ants.

Last advisory: don’t wear white clothing when you’re releasing CRYPTOforce™. They are attracted to white and light colors and may find you irresistible. Also watch your sticky traps, if you’re using them. If you’re catching too many beetles, remove the traps from the site or set them out for only 2-3 days per week.

Where can’t they be used would a more appropriate question. We’ve seen the successful implementation of this species in just about every conceivable situation. Most with equal success.

ClassificationRelease Information
Light infestation2 to 4 per 10 sq. ft, repeat as needed
Heavy infestation10 to 12 per 10 sq. ft., repeat as needed
Orchards1,000 to 2,000 per acre
  • $35.95 – $175.95Buy Now

Источник: https://greenmethods.com/cryptolaemus/

Полезные энтомофаги. Криптолемус монтрузиерри


Cryptolaemus montrouzieri представляет насекомое отряда жесткокрылых или жуков семейства божьих коровок.

Данный энтомофаг является эндемиком австралийских штатов Квинсленд и Новый Южный Уэльс.

Жуки были завезены в качестве энтомофагов в южную часть европейского континента еще в далеком 1933 году. Цель интродуцирования – противостояние мучнистому червецу, подушечницам (насекомое из группы щитовок), ицерии и тле.

В настоящее время для этих целей Cryptolaemus montrouzieri выращивается искусственно в условиях биологических лабораторий, где применяются заселенные кокцидами растения (картофель, тыква, соя, кукуруза, прочие культуры). При этом жук используется способом сезонной колонизации.

Примечательно, что в условиях влажных субтропиков данное насекомое способно давать до четырех поколений потомства.

В Украине, из-за невысокой устойчивости к низким температурам данный энтомофаг не используется (нижний температурный порог, при котором насекомое может погибнуть составляет +9°С).

Описание насекомого

Криптолемус монтрузиерри в отличие от других представителей жуков семейства божьих коровок не имеет на крыльях отличительных точек в виде горошин. При этом размер энтомофага не превышает трех, четырех миллиметров.

Голова и передняя спинка насекомого окрашены в черный цвет, при этом вершина надкрыльев и брюшко имеют красновато – коричневый оттенок.

У самцов, в отличие от самок на оконечном членике брюха имеется округлая выемка.

Зимует насекомое в верхнем слое почвы, под растительными остатками и листьями или прячется в щелях коры на деревьях.

Оптимальными условиями для жизнедеятельности Cryptolaemus montrouzieri является температура окружающей среды от +20 до +26°С, при относительной влажности воздуха около 80%. При этом длина светового дня должна составлять не менее 18 часов, поскольку активность хищников напрямую зависит от продолжительности солнечного освещения.

Если температура воздуха в теплице поднимается до +30°С и выше (или опускается ниже отметки +16°С), это тут же негативно отражается на поисковых способностях и аппетите хищников.

Кормовая база Криптолемус представлена личинками червецов и щитовок, находящимися в различных стадиях развития. При этом тля является альтернативным источником питания.

В течение жизненного цикла хищник проходит несколько фаз развития:

· Эмбрион

· Личинка

· Куколка

· Взрослая особь

Соотношение мужских и женских особей в колонии жуков составляет 1:1.

Самка откладывает яйца в непосредственной близости от колонии вредителей. В течение жизненного цикла, который длится у нее от 35 до 40 дней и при хорошей кормовой базе, количество эмбрионов может достигать тысячи и более штук.

Яйца имеют овальную форму и желтый окрас.

Личинка проходит четыре фазы развития и с появлением на свет обитает в эмбрионных мешках червецов, питаясь в основном яйцами вредителя. В начале жизненного цикла ее тело окрашено в желтовато-зеленый цвет и внешне напоминает личинку червеца.

Насекомые старшего возраста по мере своего развития постепенно покрываются ярко-белым восковым налетом, создающим на теле наросты неправильной формы.

Одна личинка Cryptolaemus montrouzieri способна уничтожить в течение суток от 4000 до 7000 эмбрионов, около 200, 300 личинок или от 40 до 60 взрослых червецов (!).

Куколка насекомого также укрыта воском и внешне очень похожа на личинку. При этом процесс окукливания происходит в расщелинах коры или в скрученных листьях.

Применение энтомофагов

Наибольшее распространение получило использование данной разновидности божьих коровок в системе биологической защиты овощных и декоративных растений в условиях закрытого грунта.

Имаго и только родившиеся личинки хищника употребляют в пищу, эмбрионы и молодые нимфы вредителей, тогда как личинки старшего возраста уничтожают червецов любых размеров и любого возраста.

Использование Cryptolaemus montrouzieri происходит путем их непосредственного заселения в места с наивысшей численностью вредителей. При этом запуск производится обычно в утреннее и вечернее время, поскольку из-за невысокой температуры воздуха насекомые менее активны и не так быстро разлетаются (имаго жука, способно находясь в полете преодолевать довольно значительные расстояния).

При небольшой численности вредителей внедрение хищника производится из расчета 2-3 особи на один квадратный метр площади, но по истечению двух недель запуск энтомофагов следует повторить.

При появлении массовых колоний вредителей, частоту внедрения энтомофагов следует увеличить до трех раз.

Хранить и перевозить биоматериал желательно при температуре от +5 до +10°C, оберегая при этом от непосредственного воздействия солнечных лучей. Использовать энтомофагов следует в течение 18 часов после приобретения.

Источник: https://agrostory.com/info-centre/knowledge-lab/poleznye-entomofagi-kriptolemus-montruzierri/

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