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

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    • "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. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Insect Science
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    • "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. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Applied Entomology
    • "The species has good dispersal capabilities , occupies a broad range of habitats, has high reproductive potential, broad climatic tolerance and a wide dietary range, including a propensity to act as an intra-guild predator within the aphidophagous guild (Ware et al., 2005; Majerus et al., 2006; Berkvens et al., 2008; Roy & Wajnberg, 2008a; Soares et al., 2008; Brown et al., 2011b). As a well-defended species, with strong chemical defences and large larval spines (Sloggett et al., 2011; Ware & Majerus, 2008) introduced to a new continent many thousands of kilometres from its native range, there is also a strong possibility that enemy release plays a role in the success of H. axyridis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alien species are often reported to perform better than functionally similar species native to the invaded range, resulting in high population densities, and a tendency to become invasive. The enemy release hypothesis (ERH) explains the success of invasive alien species (IAS) as a consequence of reduced mortality from natural enemies (predators, parasites and pathogens) compared with native species. The harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, a species alien to Britain, provides a model system for testing the ERH.Pupae of H. axyridis and the native ladybird Coccinella septempunctata were monitored for parasitism between 2008 and 2011, from populations across southern England in areas first invaded by H. axyridis between 2004 and 2009. In addition, a semi-field experiment was established to investigate the incidence of parasitism of adult H. axyridis and C. septempunctata by Dinocampus coccinellae.Harmonia axyridis pupae were parasitised at a much lower rate than conspecifics in the native range, and both pupae and adults were parasitised at a considerably lower rate than C. septempunctata populations from the same place and time (H. axyridis: 1.67%; C. septempunctata: 18.02%) or in previous studies on Asian H. axyridis (2–7%). We found no evidence that the presence of H. axyridis affected the parasitism rate of C. septempunctata by D. coccinellae.Our results are consistent with the general prediction that the prevalence of natural enemies is lower for introduced species than for native species at early stages of invasion. This may partly explain why H. axyridis is such a successful IAS.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Insect Conservation and Diversity
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