Intraguild predation by Harmonia axyridis on coccinellids revealed by exogenous alkaloid sequestration
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Under laboratory conditions, the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis is well known as an intraguild predator of other ladybirds. However the real impact of this exotic species on native species was poorly investigated in the field. Because many ladybird species produce alkaloids as defensive compounds, we propose here a new method of intraguild predation monitoring in coccinellids based on alkaloid quantification by GC-MS. In laboratory experiments, adaline was unambiguously detected in fourth instar larvae of H. axyridis having ingested one egg or one first instar larva of Adalia bipunctata. Although prey alkaloids in the predator decreased with time, traces were still detected in pupae, exuviae and imagines of H. axyridis having ingested one prey when they were fourth instar larvae. Analysis of H. axyridis larvae collected in two potato fields shows for the first time in Europe the presence of exogenous alkaloids in 9 out of 28 individuals tested. This new method of intraguild predation detection could be used more widely to follow the interactions between predators and potential chemically defended insect preys.
Keywords.Adalia bipunctata alkaloids coccinellids Coccinella septempunctata detection Harmonia axyridis intraguild predation Propylea quatuordecimpunctata
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