Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, aka, Mealybug Destroyer an Austrailian Ladybug was imported to the USA in the 1890's for the control of Citrus Mealybug in California. Crypt's are brown ladybugs with an orange head and tail (approximately 4 mm / 1/6 in long). Eggs are yellow and are layed into the woolly egg. The larvae can reach up to 1/2 in and are white with waxy filaments covering them. The adults and larvae of Crypts feed on all stages of the mealybug's.
Cryptolaemus are sold as adults only. The packages contain paper strips for them to cling during shipment as well as honey as a food source. Cryptolaemus are not as effective on mealybug's that do not produce egg masses, such as Long-tailed Mealybug. Cryptolaemus cannot survive in cold temperatures (below 50°F) and therefore need to be reintroduced where the winter temperature is too low.
Life span of the Cryptolaemus:
Complete life cycle is approximately 7 weeks, sex ratio of eggs 50% male to female, Each female adult can lay up to 400 eggs, adults can live up to 2 months. Development stages are: Egg - 4 larval stages - pupa - adult.