, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 29–32 | Cite as

Is the alkaloid in 2spot ladybirds (Adalia bipunctata) a defence against ant predation?

  • Nicola M. Marples
Research papers


Garden black ants,Lasius niger L., in a laboratory colony, attacked three species of live ladybirds found near their nest, killing the smaller two species. A second colony was offered artificial diets containing crushed ladybirds of two species, and the ants' choice of feeding site noted. Both the diets were aversive compared to control, but that containing 7spot,Coccinella septempunctata L., was more aversive than the diet containing 2spot,Adalia bipunctata L. The implications of this lesser protection for 2spots in terms of the chemical defence of the species are discussed.

Key words

chemical defence alkaloids predation Coleoptera Coccinellidae Adalia bipunctata Coccinella septempunctata Hymenoptera Formicidae Lasius niger 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola M. Marples
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Evolutionary and Ecological SciencesUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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