, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 415–425 | Cite as

Dispersal potential of native and exotic predatory ladybirds as measured by a computer-monitored flight mill

  • Sara Maes
  • Xavier Massart
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
  • Patrick De Clercq


The performance of three species of predatory ladybirds was compared in a flight mill and the effect of diet on their flight parameters was tested. The invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) outperformed Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in terms of flight distance, duration and velocity. Harmonia axyridis flew at least two times further, needed three times less breaks and flew two times faster than C. montrouzieri and A. bipunctata fed the same diet. Ladybirds reared on eggs of Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) performed better than their counterparts reared on natural prey (aphids for H. axyridis and A. bipunctata, mealybugs for C. montrouzieri). The findings of this study indicate that comparative flight studies can be useful to identify candidate biocontrol agents with pronounced dispersal abilities and thus can yield significant evidence to be used in an environmental risk assessment. However, it also demonstrates that variability related to mass rearing conditions should not be ignored when standardizing a risk assessment procedure for candidate biocontrol agents.


Biological control Environmental risk assessment Dispersal capacity Flight mill Coleoptera Coccinellidae 



We thank Louis Hautier (CRA-W) for supplying Adalia bipunctata eggs. This study was funded by the Belgian Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (contract RT 09/11 MACROREG).


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Maes
    • 1
  • Xavier Massart
    • 2
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
    • 2
  • Patrick De Clercq
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop ProtectionGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Biological Control and Spatial Ecology LabULBBrusselsBelgium

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