Harmonia axyridis in Europe: spread and distribution of a non-native coccinellid
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- Brown, P.M.J., Adriaens, T., Bathon, H. et al. BioControl (2008) 53: 5. doi:10.1007/s10526-007-9132-y
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Native to Asia, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is considered an invasive alien ladybird in Europe and North America, where it was widely introduced as a biological control agent of aphids and coccids. In Europe, H. axyridis was sold by various biological control companies from 1995 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and was also intentionally released in at least nine other countries. It has spread very rapidly, particularly since 2002, and is now regarded as established in thirteen European countries. The established range extends from Denmark in the north to southern France in the south, and from Czech Republic in the east to Great Britain in the west. In this paper we map the spread and distribution of H. axyridis in Europe, and examine the situation on a country-by-country basis. We report first records of the species in five countries; Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic and Italy; and first evidence of H. axyridis establishment in the latter three countries. Despite releases of H. axyridis in Portugal, Spain and Greece, there is little evidence of establishment in southern Europe. It is predicted that the spread and increase within Europe will continue and that H. axyridis will become one of the most widely distributed coccinellids in the continent.