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Ladybird population dynamics in potato: comparison of native species with an invasive species, Harmonia axyridis

Abstract

Following the detection of the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, in 2003 in potato crops in Belgium, a study was carried out between 2004 and 2006 on the phenology of this species compared to native species in potato. The results confirmed the success of H. axyridis, with high population levels in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, aphid populations were very low and no H. axyridis larvae were sampled in potato, but the indigenous species Coccinella septempunctata and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata were detected. A species by species comparison of the date of first larvae detection, the larvae population peak, and the difference between this peak and the aphid population peak was performed. Results showed a clear correlation between C. septempunctata and P. quatuordecimpunctata and potato aphids, with a delay of 3.5 and 6.5 days between the aphid and ladybird population peaks for the two native species. H. axyridis arrived 7–8 days after the two indigenous species and the larval peak population occurred 15.8 days after the aphid population peak. This meant that H. axyridis had to complete its larval development with very low aphid populations or even with no aphids at all. The reason for its late arrival and the possible food resources used by H. axyridis larvae are discussed.

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Correspondence to Jean Pierre Jansen.

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Jansen, J.P., Hautier, L. Ladybird population dynamics in potato: comparison of native species with an invasive species, Harmonia axyridis . BioControl 53, 223–233 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-007-9134-9

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Keywords

  • Adalia bipunctata
  • Coccinella septempunctata
  • Harmonia axyridis
  • Invasive species
  • Intraguild predation
  • Propylea quatuordecimpunctata