Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MASS PRODUCTION OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research Unit

Title: The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis

Authors
item Sloggett, John -
item Magro, Alexandra -
item Verheggen, Francois -
item Hemptinne, Jean-Louis -
item Hutchison, William -
item Riddick, Eric

Submitted to: Biocontrol
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 13, 2011
Publication Date: July 1, 2011
Citation: Sloggett, J.J., Magro, A., Verheggen, F.J., Hemptinne, J., Hutchison, W.D., Riddick, E.W. 2011. The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis. Biocontrol. 56(4):643-661.

Interpretive Summary: The highly invasive lady beetle Harmonia axyridis continues to expand its range throughout the world. Investigating the role of chemistry in the life history of this insect will help us predict its short and long-term effects on the environment. In this paper, we review the literature on the chemical ecology of H. axyridis from a global perspective. Defensive chemicals play a role in the invasive success and competitive superiority of H. axyridis. These same chemicals potentially affect human health and contaminate agricultural products. Some techniques proposed for managing this insect involve using chemical repellents, attractants and possibly pheromones, which encourage beetles to enter traps. Further advancements in techniques to manage this insect are necessary.

Technical 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 from 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 consequent on large aggregations overwintering in buildings. We discuss chemical insights into these issues and, in particular, how attractants and repellents might help manage H. axyridis populations. We conclude by discussing future perspectives for research.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page