The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis

Université de Toulouse, ENFA, EDB (Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique), 2 route de Narbonne, 31320 Castanet Tolosan, France; CNRS, EDB (Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique), 31062 Toulouse, France
BioControl (Impact Factor: 2.22). 01/2011; 56(4):643-661. DOI: 10.1007/s10526-011-9376-4

ABSTRACT We review the chemical ecology of the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis from the perspective of its invasiveness and the deleterious effects it exerts in the regions it has colonised. We outline
the nature and quantification of its chemical defence, and discuss the protection this provides against natural enemies, particularly
intraguild predators. We consider the role of infochemicals in location of prey, intraspecific communication and intraguild
interactions. We also discuss the role of prey allelochemicals in relation to H. axyridis extreme dietary generalism. Harmonia axyridis poses a number of practical problems for human health and well-being, including “ladybug taint” wine contamination and problems
resulting from large aggregations overwintering in buildings. We consider chemical insights into these issues and, in particular,
how attractants and repellents might help manage H. axyridis populations through a push–pull strategy. We conclude by discussing future perspectives for research.

KeywordsChemical defence–Coccinellidae–Foraging–Semiochemicals–Ladybug wine taint–Push–pull strategy

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    ABSTRACT: The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), exhibits a gregarious behavior during unfavorable winter conditions. Although this behavior is currently described as a phenomenon occurring only during winter, aggregations can also be observed outside overwintering conditions. However, the substrate markings previously highlighted as being involved in the wintry aggregation of this exotic species do not seem to be used by non-overwintering individuals to aggregate. This fact suggests then that other cues are responsible for the induction of this behavior. In this work, we have tested the hypothesis that direct contact between non-overwintering individuals stimulates the establishment of clusters. Binary choice experiments highlighted the involvement of elytral cuticular compounds in this phenomenon. Chromatographic analyses showed that the active extracts contained mainly hydrocarbons, including saturated, mono-unsaturated, and di-unsaturated homologues. Physical contact also seems to be involved in the non-overwintering aggregative behavior of H. axyridis, but to a lesser extent than these natural compounds. These findings could eventually be used to develop new control methods of these pest populations and so, reduce the adverse impacts it causes on biodiversity
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    ABSTRACT: AbstractI consider evolutionary approaches to deducing factors that have made the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis such a successful invader, and the contribution that studies of this species in its native range can make. Work aiming to demonstrate which (pre)adaptations have made the species so successful often fails to compare these putative characters with those of other ladybirds. This has led to a tendency for “argument by design”‐type claims on characters widely shared by non‐invasive coccinellids. There is good evidence from genetic studies that evolutionary change occurred in invasive populations, contributing to their success. There is some evidence for subsequent evolutionary change after the establishment of invasive H. axyridis, primarily in the native organisms with which the ladybird interacts. I show here that there appears to have been little adaptation in H. axyridis, over about 20 generations, to the alkaloids of one North American native intraguild prey, the ladybird Coleomegilla maculata. Studies of H. axyridis in its native range are important, as they provide a snapshot of the ancestral ladybird, unobscured by subsequent evolutionary change related to its invasiveness. They provide baseline data about phenomena such as interactions with natural enemies and intraguild predation, and they also can provide pointers as to how H. axyridis might further adapt in the regions it has colonized. Harmonia axyridis represents an ideal opportunity for greater international co‐operation between scientists studying this species in its native range in Asia and scientists studying it in Europe, America and Africa, where it is an invasive exotic.
    Entomological Science 01/2012; 15(3). · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To date, volatile sex pheromones have not been identified in the Coccinellidae family; yet, various studies have suggested that such semiochemicals exist. Here, we collected volatile chemicals released by virgin females of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), which were either allowed or not allowed to feed on aphids. Virgin females in the presence of aphids, exhibited ''calling behavior'', which is commonly associated with the emission of a sex pheromone in several Coleoptera species. These calling females were found to release a blend of volatile compounds that is involved in the remote attraction (i.e., from a distance) of males. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses revealed that (–)-b-caryophyllene was the major constituent of the volatile blend (ranging from 80 to 86%), with four other chemical components also being present; b-elemene, methyl-eugenol, a-humulene, and a-bulnesene. In a second set of experiments, the emission of the five constituents identified from the blend was quantified daily over a 9-day period after exposure to aphids. We found that the quantity of all five chemicals significantly increased across the experimental period. Finally, we evaluated the activity of a synthetic blend of these chemicals by performing bioassays which demonstrated the same attractive effect in males only. The results confirm that female H. axyridis produce a volatile sex pheromone. These findings have potential in the development of more specific and efficient biological pest-control management methods aimed at manipulating the behavior of this invasive lady beetle. OPEN ACCESS
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May 16, 2014