Harmonia axyridis in Great Britain: analysis of the spread and distribution of a non-native coccinellid
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- Brown, P.M.J., Roy, H.E., Rothery, P. et al. BioControl (2008) 53: 55. doi:10.1007/s10526-007-9124-y
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Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is native to Asia, and was widely introduced as a biocontrol agent of aphids and coccids in Europe and North America. In Europe H. axyridis is considered to be an invasive alien species. Although not known to have been deliberately introduced to Great Britain, it was first recorded there in 2004, in south-east England. Harmonia axyridis arrived in Great Britain by various means, primarily from mainland Europe, but also from Canada. Extensive national and local media coverage, and a dedicated website (http://www.harlequin-survey.org), facilitated public involvement in recording H. axyridis in Great Britain; in excess of 4,000 verified records of the species were received between 2004 and 2006. Through detailed mapping, the objective of our study was to quantify and analyse the spread of H. axyridis in its early stages of invasion in Great Britain. Our data shows that between 2004 and 2006, the species spread north through Great Britain at the rate of 58 km year-1 and west at the rate of 144.5 km year-1. In England H. axyridis spread north to Yorkshire and west to Cornwall by the end of 2006, and also reached Wales. Recorded occurrence (of one or more H. axyridis individuals at larval, pupal and/or adult stage) in 10 km squares in Great Britain was: 2004—51; 2005—149; 2006—447. Records of juvenile H. axyridis extend through most of the recorded British range of the species, and we present evidence of bi-voltinism in the population in 2006.