Beetle Conservation

Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 85-94

First online:

The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada

  • Jason P. HarmonAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Wisconsin Email author 
  • , Erin StephensAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Cornell University
  • , John LoseyAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, Cornell University

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Reviewing published coccinellid surveys we found that the number of adventive species has increased steadily over the last century while the average proportion of native individuals has remained fairly constant until 1987 followed by a rapid decrease between 1987 and 2006. Seven long-term studies indicated that the total density of coccinellids increased by an average of 14% following establishment of adventive species, but this increase was not significant and in 4 of 7 cases the total density of coccinellids actually decreased following establishment. Similarly, no significant difference was found in comparisons of diversity across all studies. These results illustrate that even with multiple long-term data sets it is currently difficult to make any general conclusions regarding the impact adventive coccinellids have had on native coccinellid assemblages. However, it is clear that specific systems and species have seen major shifts in recent years. For example, adventives have become the dominant species in a third of the assemblages where they are found. Focusing on two formerly common native species, Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella novemnotata, we show they have become rare in their former ranges and discuss potential explanations for this phenomenon.


Adalia Coccinella Adventive species Ladybirds Aphids