Reaping benefits from an invasive species: role of Harmonia axyridis in natural biological control of Aphis glycines in North America

Abstract

Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an invasive species present in numerous agroecosystems in North America. Despite adverse impacts as a threat to native biodiversity, a nuisance household invader and a pest in fruit production, H. axyridis also plays a beneficial role as a major component of assemblages of generalist predators in several agricultural crops. Here, we review the role of H. axyridis as a natural enemy of Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), an invasive pest of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill (Fabales: Fabaceae), in North America. Harmonia axyridis is often the most abundant predator species attacking A. glycines in soybean agroecosystems. This predator has the potential to both prevent and suppress A. glycines outbreaks. Further studies are needed to fully understand and utilize the potential of H. axyridis as a natural enemy in the management of A. glycines and other agricultural pests in agroecosystems worldwide.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Christopher Philips, Jordan Bannerman, Anh Tran, Walter Rich, Sandra Nogueira Koch, and two anonymous reviewers for providing reviews of an earlier version of this paper. This paper originated from a presentation by R.L.K. at the 2nd International Congress on Biological Invasions in Qingdao, China from 23 to 27 October 2013. The work was supported by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grant 1503).

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Correspondence to Robert L. Koch.

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Koch, R.L., Costamagna, A.C. Reaping benefits from an invasive species: role of Harmonia axyridis in natural biological control of Aphis glycines in North America. BioControl 62, 331–340 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-016-9749-9

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Keywords

  • Aphididae
  • Coccinellidae
  • Coleoptera
  • Hemiptera
  • Integrated pest management
  • Invasive species
  • Soybean