, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 423–434 | Cite as

Harmonia axyridis failed to establish in the Azores: the role of species richness, intraguild interactions and resource availability

  • António Onofre SoaresEmail author
  • Alois Honěk
  • Zdenka Martinkova
  • Jiri Skuhrovec
  • Pedro Cardoso
  • Isabel Borges


To understand the role of native ladybird biodiversity in habitat susceptibility on the establishment and spread of Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), we characterized and compared European communities where they had established and where they had not established. The local communities of ladybirds were characterized in terms of biodiversity, the average difference in body mass between H. axyridis and other coccinellid species and the rarefied total body mass of all individuals (as a surrogate for aphid abundance and availability). The lack of success of H. axyridis in the Azores, as well as its low success in Southern Europe, can be explained by a combination of resource availability and intraguild competition. We suggest the success of this invasive alien species to establish in a habitat depends first on resource availability and second when most direct competitors for limited resources are absent or are uncommon.


Coccinellidae Biodiversity Body mass Inter-specific interactions Resource availability 



This study was financed by Portuguese National Funds, through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the projects UID/BIA/00329/2013 and M1.1.a/009/Funcionamento-C-/2016 (GBA). I. Borges was funded by a grant from Fundo Regional da Ciência, Regional Government of the Azores. Ref: M3.1.7/F/012/2011. A. Honĕk and Z. Martinkova were supported by grant 14-26561S of Czech Science Foundation, J. Skuhrovec was supported by grants LD14084 of Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and RO0416 of Ministry of Agriculture.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • António Onofre Soares
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alois Honěk
    • 2
  • Zdenka Martinkova
    • 2
  • Jiri Skuhrovec
    • 2
  • Pedro Cardoso
    • 1
    • 3
  • Isabel Borges
    • 1
  1. 1.cE3c - ABG - Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes and Azorean Biodiversity Group, Department of BiologyUniversity of the AzoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  2. 2.Crop Research InstitutePrague 6Czech Republic
  3. 3.Finnish Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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