, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 55–67 | Cite as

Harmonia axyridis in Great Britain: analysis of the spread and distribution of a non-native coccinellid

  • Peter Michael James BrownEmail author
  • Helen E. Roy
  • Peter Rothery
  • David B. Roy
  • Remy L. Ware
  • Michael E. N. Majerus


Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is native to Asia, and was widely introduced as a biocontrol agent of aphids and coccids in Europe and North America. In Europe H. axyridis is considered to be an invasive alien species. Although not known to have been deliberately introduced to Great Britain, it was first recorded there in 2004, in south-east England. Harmonia axyridis arrived in Great Britain by various means, primarily from mainland Europe, but also from Canada. Extensive national and local media coverage, and a dedicated website (, facilitated public involvement in recording H. axyridis in Great Britain; in excess of 4,000 verified records of the species were received between 2004 and 2006. Through detailed mapping, the objective of our study was to quantify and analyse the spread of H. axyridis in its early stages of invasion in Great Britain. Our data shows that between 2004 and 2006, the species spread north through Great Britain at the rate of 58 km year-1 and west at the rate of 144.5 km year-1. In England H. axyridis spread north to Yorkshire and west to Cornwall by the end of 2006, and also reached Wales. Recorded occurrence (of one or more H. axyridis individuals at larval, pupal and/or adult stage) in 10 km squares in Great Britain was: 2004—51; 2005—149; 2006—447. Records of juvenile H. axyridis extend through most of the recorded British range of the species, and we present evidence of bi-voltinism in the population in 2006.


Alien species Biological control Coccinellidae Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis Invasive species Non-native species 



We extend our thanks to all of the following, who have helped to make the Harlequin Ladybird Survey a success: the thousands of naturalists and members of the British public who have provided records; Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, National Biodiversity Network Trust, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Natural Environment Research Council, University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University for funding and support; Paul Mabbott and recorders from the London and Essex Ladybird Survey; Trevor James, Jim Munford and Andrew Brewer of the National Biodiversity Network Trust; Mark Hill, Cassie Hoyland and Henry Arnold of the Biological Records Centre; Ian Wright, Laura-Jane Michie, James Waters and Francis Rowland of University of Cambridge; Julian Doberski of Anglia Ruskin University; and finally Robert Frost and William Grange for records and valuable contributions.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Michael James Brown
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Helen E. Roy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Rothery
    • 1
  • David B. Roy
    • 1
  • Remy L. Ware
    • 3
  • Michael E. N. Majerus
    • 3
  1. 1.NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology – Monks WoodHuntingdon, CambridgeshireUK
  2. 2.Department of Life SciencesAnglia Ruskin UniversityCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of GeneticsUniversity of Cambridge CambridgeUK

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