Worldwide distribution. The 'mealybug destroyer'. In Oceania, Australia (native), Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea. Available commercially. Preys on scales, mealybugs and aphids.
Eggs laid near prey, larvae with yellowish grey bodies and waxy threads, orange-brown heads and black wing cases. Covered in fine white hairs.
Biosecurity: need to assess risk before introduction as it is a generalist.
Cultural control: hot water to kill ants: 47°C (note, 49°C kills plants).
Management: (i) move adults and larvae to colonies of pests; (ii) use sleeve cages to protect populations initially; (iii) avoid use of organophosphates, carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids; (iv) control ants: (a) stomach poisons (fipronil, Amdro®, borax), (b) growth regulators (methoprene, pyriproxyfen), (c) nerve poisons (bifenthrin, fipronil, imidacloprid). See (http://piat.org.nz/getting-rid-of-ants).