The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis

CNRS, EDB (Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique), 31062 Toulouse, France
BioControl (Impact Factor: 1.69). 08/2011; 56(4):643-661. DOI: 10.1007/s10526-011-9376-4


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

Download full-text


Available from: Francois Verheggen,
158 Reads
  • Source
    • "Although the non-uniform distribution of this exotic species in the field has already been highlighted (Koch, 2003), this study is the first to document the aggregative behavior of non-overwintering H. axyridis in the laboratory. According to the published literature, these aggregations seem to be related to the heterogeneous spatial distribution of prey; through (i) the attraction of these aphidophagous predators toward aphid honeydew or aphid pheromones (Sloggett et al., 2011); and (ii) the trapping effect for predators, manifested by the time expense of eating prey and switching from extensive to intensive search effort after having consumed prey (Kawai, 1976). However, these facts do not preclude the existence of social interactions between individuals, even if these interactions are probably masked. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The invasive multicolored Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), aggregates inside dwellings during winter to avoid cold weather. This adaptive behavior disturbs homeowners, because of the large numbers of individuals that aggregate, which induces allergic reactions. The migratory flight patterns of this species have been well documented, with individuals preferentially moving toward prominent and high color contrast elements. However, the factors involved in the selection of aggregation sites by this species have yet to be elucidated. Here, we evaluated the influence of (i) the density of individuals and (ii) the type of available shelters on decisions by H. axyridis to settle and aggregate under shelters. A dual choice bioassay conducted in the laboratory demonstrated the presence of mutual attraction to conspecifics. We also found that individuals preferentially settled under red covered shelters compared to transparent shelters, and that the type of shelter outweighed the effect of social interactions among conspecifics. Moreover, this experiment was performed under non-wintering conditions, providing the first evidence that aggregative behavior in this species can also occur under those specific conditions.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Insect Science 05/2014; 22(5). DOI:10.1111/1744-7917.12144 · 2.14 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Following these introductions, this exotic species is now well established on these continents (Brown et al. 2011), surviving cold winters by aggregating inside houses and buildings (Labrie et al. 2008). This adaptive behaviour causes annoyance as a result of the large number of ladybeetles which can be found inside dwellings, as well as by the potential induction of some allergic reactions in the inhabitants (Sloggett et al. 2011). According to Obata (1986), overwintering sites colonized by this pest remain stable for years. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The multicoloured Asian ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), aggregates inside dwellings during winters to survive the cold. This beetle uses chemical cues coming from congeners to select an overwintering site. Recent research has shown that they preferentially gather at places where conspecifics previously laid a substrate marking made up of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Some authors have reported that H. axyridis colonizes the same overwintering sites from 1 year to another. Herein, the hypothesis that this substrate marking is used by H. axyridis to settle in the same aggregation sites from one winter to another was tested. To this aim, the temporal modification in the chemical profile of the hydrocarbon marking was studied by performing chromatographic analyses. After 1 year, the overall profile was modified qualitatively and quantitatively: the unsaturated hydrocarbons were no longer detected while some saturated hydrocarbons were still present in large quantities. In a behavioural assay conducted in the laboratory, the 12-month-old marking did not induce the aggregation of H. axyridis. This result indicates that the chemical markings left by conspecifics during a previous aggregation period in an overwintering site are not sufficient to induce the gathering of the newly arriving individuals.
    Journal of Applied Entomology 11/2013; 138(5). DOI:10.1111/jen.12093 · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Many species present this behavior, including Adalia bipunctata (L.), Coccinella septempunctata (L.), Ceratomegilla undecimnotata (Schneider), Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), and H. convergens (Guérin-Méneville) (Copp 1983; Hemptinne 1985; Honěk et al. 2007; Obata 1986). The multicolored Asian ladybeetle, H. axyridis, is a particularly interesting model species because its aggregations significantly disrupt human habitations (Sloggett et al. 2011). Because these exotic insects often aggregate inside dwellings during winter, in addition to inconveniences caused by their large numbers, this adaptive behavior can induce allergic reactions in the occupants (Goetz 2006; Nakazawa et al. 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
    Journal of Insect Behavior 06/2013; 27(1):1-13. DOI:10.1007/s10905-013-9399-z · 1.14 Impact Factor
Show more