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Identifying Natural Enemies of Fruitworms

On this page
  • Bigeyed bug
  • Hyposoter exiguae wasp
  • Minute pirate bugs
  • Trichogramma sp.

Natural enemies are very important in the biological control of tomato fruitworm. These include predators such as minute pirate bugs, bigeyed bugs, and the parasitic wasps Trichogramma spp. and Hyposoter exiguae. Monitor for the presence of these and other parasites and predators. Use the photos below to detect some of these natural enemies of tomato fruitworm. Names link to more information on identification and biology.

Click on photos to enlarge

Predaceous adult bigeyed bug
Bigeyed bug
Identification tip: Adults and nymphs are oval, somewhat flattened, about 1/4 of an inch long, with a wide head and prominent bulging eyes.

Trichogramma sp.
Hyposoter exiguae wasp (adult)
Identification tip: The adult wasp is black with lighter colored abdomen and legs and 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch long. The adult wasp lays its egg in the caterpillar.

Minute pirate bug attacking an aphid
Minute pirate bugs
Identification tip: Adults are small, 1/12 to 1/5 of an inch long, oval, black or purplish with white markings, and have a triangular head.

Trichogramma sp.
Trichogramma spp.
Identification tip: Trichogramma spp. parasitize tomato fruitworm eggs, turning them black.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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