Adalia bipunctata is a species of ladybird beetle that feeds on aphids and other small insects. The larvae have black elongated bodies with six legs and white and yellow spots. The adults are 4-5 mm long, ovular, and are either red with two black spots, or black with red spots. Both larvae as well as adults feed on aphids. Eggs are yellow-orange, ovoid in shape and in clusters.
A wide variety of aphid species, pysillids and mites.
A complete life cycle takes 16-20 days at 68ºF. Adalia bipunctata populations have equal numbers of males and females. Females lay an average of 20-50 eggs per day. Eggs are laid in clusters near aphids. Newly hatched larvae will consume their egg shell and immediately begin to seek out prey. Adalia can consume up to a total of 100 aphids/day and adults live for 2-3 months.
Use in Biological Control
Adalia bipunctata is mainly used to control aphids in ornamentals, fruit and vegetable crops. Optimum conditions are 75-82ºF with relative humidity 70-80%.
Use a 10-15x hand lens to inspect for Adalia bipunctata which are most often found near aphid hotspots.
Adalia bipunctata are sold in small containers of eggs or larvae. They are shipped in shredded paper or other packing material to provide protection.
Release Adalia upon receipt. If needed, they can be stored in a dark place for 1-2 days at 46-50ºF. Place strips of paper with larvae in the center of aphid hotspots.
For a light infestation release 5-10 individuals per plant and repeat applications as necessary.
For a heavy infestation release 10-20 individuals per plant and repeat applications as necessary.
Trees and Shrubs: Release a minimum of 200 individuals per 30cm of trunk in the crown of the plant.
For Best Results
Apply early and use preventatively. Ants will reduce the ability for Adalia bipunctata to target aphid populations as the ants may attempt to protect the aphids. Use glue barriers or ant lures to reduce their influence. When food is scarce, Adalia are cannabilistic.
It is essential to refrain from using broad-spectrum chemicals in order to conserve naturally occurring predators and parasites. .