Delphastus catalinae

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  • Regular price $29.95

These are live insects and MUST be shipped OVERNIGHT. No USPS or ground shipping. 

Target Pests:
Whitefly. Greenhouse Whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum), Tobacco Whitefly, 
Banded-winged Whitefly (Trialeurodes spp.),Sweet Potato Whitefly, Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia spp.), Woolly Whitefly (Aleurothrixus floccosus), Azalea
and Hibiscus Whitefly (Pealius spp.), Cloudy Winged, Citrus and Rhododendron Whitefly (Dialeurodes spp.), Citrus Blackfly (Aleurocanthus woglumi);
If whiteflies are scarce, they will also feed on other small arthropods,
such as spider mites, broad mites and aphids.

Delphastus is a specialized whitefly predator in the lady beetle family.
The White Fly Predatory Beetle is a native beetle often found associated with high populations of various species of White Fly. Adults are small, shiny, and are approximately 1.3 - 1.4 mm in length (1/15th inch). Adults are dark brown to black, hemispherical beetles; females have reddish yellow heads, lighter color than males. Development is about a month long and females lay 3 - 4 eggs per day. Eggs are transparent and are twice as long as they are wide. It is mandatory for mated females to consume 100 - 150 eggs a day in order to oviposit. Each larval stage takes about 3 - 5 days to complete, and the pupil stage takes 6 days. Larvae are elongated, cream colored, covered with short fine hairs and have conspicuous legs.  The pupae are more yellow and circular. On cloudy and twilight days, adults are most noticeable. The adult beetles fly, while larvae are slow moving and travel from plant to plant on leaves.

The complete life cycle takes 21 - 25 days. Eggs are yellowish ovals, laid on end, in clusters on the underside of leaves. Females lay 2 - 6 eggs per day, and can lay over 300 eggs in their 65-day lifetime. Females must eat 100- 150
whitefly eggs per day to initiate and sustain egg laying. Larvae feed for 7 - 10 days. Older larvae migrate down the plant to pupate. Pupae are often found clustered along leaf veins on the undersides of leaves. Adults emerge from pupae in 6 days. Adults can eat 150 - 640 whitefly eggs or 11 large larvae per day. A single beetle can consume as many as 10,000 whitefly eggs or 700 larvae during its lifetime.

Release Rates:
100 adults per "hot spot" or 10 adults per infected plant, weekly, 3-4 times. 
5 beetles per 10 sq.ft. weekly, 3-4 times.

Use in Biological Control:
Delphastus is used to control whiteflies in tropical and semi-tropical plantings, as well as in commercial vegetable greenhouses. Delphastus avoids feeding on parasitized whiteflies, therefore is compatible with the use of Encarsia spp. and Eretmocerus spp., both whitefly parasites. Delphastus also tends to feed in high-density whitefly populations, while parasites do best at lower densities of whiteflies. Optimum conditions are moderate to high temperatures of 16-35 ºC (61-90ºF); Delphastus do not fly at temperatures below 13 ºC (55 ºF). Delphastus do not enter diapause under short-day conditions, therefore remain active all season.

Delphastus prefers the egg stage of whiteflies and is therefore mainly present in the top of the plant. Both adults
and larvae feed on whitefly eggs and immature stages. If food is scarce, they will also feed on other small arthropods, such as spider mites, broad mites and aphids, though influence of these foods on reproduction is unknown. 
Adults alone can consume an average of 1,000 whitefly eggs before pupating. Watery or pasty yellowish deposits, known as feces, are a sign of feeding activity. 

Product Information:
Delphastus are sold in small plastic containers of adults only. They are shipped in shredded paper or other packing material to protect them during transport. A small amount food and water is added to the container. 
Strategic Considerations:
Broad spectrum and systemic insecticides are toxic to Delphastus. Spreader-stickers and wetting agents may harm the beetles on contact, but do not have residual effects. Insecticidal soap and kinoprene (Enstar®) may be used in whitefly hot spots; however, reducing whitefly numbers with pesticides also reduces the beetle’s food supply and reproductive ability. All resistances are unknown and residue could take a very long time to break down so that the inoculations are positive to survive. When infestations reach the point where they’re very severe, some advisable ways for knockdown are: vacuums, sticky barriers or pesticide treatment. Protect inoculated plants from spray and drift and bring them with their beetles and their larvae after at least a week. The colony that was transferred will keep the infestation down and reduce it even further. Pesticides and even wetting agents and spreader-stickers may adversely affect Delphastus survival. Broad spectrum and systemic insecticides are toxic to Delphastus.