, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 643-661
Date: 30 Aug 2011

The chemical ecology of Harmonia axyridis

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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 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.

Handling Editor: Helen Roy