The decline of native coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States and Canada

  • Jason P. Harmon
  • Erin Stephens
  • John Losey


Reviewing published coccinellid surveys we found that the number of adventive species has increased steadily over the last century while the average proportion of native individuals has remained fairly constant until 1987 followed by a rapid decrease between 1987 and 2006. Seven long-term studies indicated that the total density of coccinellids increased by an average of 14% following establishment of adventive species, but this increase was not significant and in 4 of 7 cases the total density of coccinellids actually decreased following establishment. Similarly, no significant difference was found in comparisons of diversity across all studies. These results illustrate that even with multiple long-term data sets it is currently difficult to make any general conclusions regarding the impact adventive coccinellids have had on native coccinellid assemblages. However, it is clear that specific systems and species have seen major shifts in recent years. For example, adventives have become the dominant species in a third of the assemblages where they are found. Focusing on two formerly common native species, Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella novemnotata, we show they have become rare in their former ranges and discuss potential explanations for this phenomenon.


Adalia Coccinella Adventive species Ladybirds Aphids 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alyokhin A, Sewell G (2004) Changes in a lady beetle community following the establishment of three alien species. Biol Invasions 6:463–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angalet GW, Tropp JM, Eggert AN (1979) Coccinella septempunctata in the United States: recolonization and notes on its ecology. Environ Entomol 8:896–901Google Scholar
  3. Bazzocchi GG, Lanzoni A, Accinelli G, Burgio G (2004) Overwintering, phenology and fecundity of Harmonia axyridis in comparison with native coccinellid species in Italy. Bio-Control 49:245–260Google Scholar
  4. Boiteau G, Bousquet Y, Osborn WPL (1999) Vertical and temporal distribution of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in flight over an agricultural landscape. Can Entomol 131:269–277Google Scholar
  5. Bosque-Perez NA, Johnson JB, Schotzko DJ, Unger L (2002) Species diversity, abundance, and phenology of aphid natural enemies on spring wheats resistant and susceptible to Russian wheat aphid. BioControl 47:667–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown MW (2003) Intraguild responses of aphid predators on apple to the invasion of an exotic species, Harmonia axyridis. BioControl 48:141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown MW, Miller SS (1998) Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in apple orchards of eastern West Virginia and the impact of invasion by Harmonia axyridis. Entomol News 109:143–151Google Scholar
  8. Colunga-Garcia M, Gage SH (1998) Arrival, establishment, and habitat use of the multicolored Asian lady beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in a Michigan landscape. Environ Entomol 27:1574–1580Google Scholar
  9. Colunga-Garcia M, Gage SH, Landis DA (1997) Response of an assemblage of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) to a diverse agricultural landscape. Environ Entomol 26:797–804Google Scholar
  10. Cormier CM, Forbes TA, Jones TA, Morrison RD, McCorquodale DB(2000) Alien invasion: the status of non-native lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in industrial Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Northeast Nat 7:241–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cottrell TE (2004) Suitability of exotic and native lady beetle eggs (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) for development of lady beetle larvae. Biol Control 31:362–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cranshaw W, Sclar DC, Cooper D (1996) A review of 1994 pricing and marketing by suppliers of organisms for biological control of arthropods in the United States. Biol Control 6:291–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Day WH (1965) The Identification and Importance of Biotic and Abiotic Factors Affecting Aphids on Long Island Potatoes. PhD Dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca NY USAGoogle Scholar
  14. DeBach P (eds) (1964) Biological control of insect pests and weeds. Chapman & Hall, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  15. Dobzhansky T (1935) A list of Coccinellidae of British Columbia. J NY Entomol Soc 43:331–336Google Scholar
  16. Dowell RV, Cherry RH (1981) Survey traps for parasitoids, and coccinellid predators of the citrus blackfly, Aleurocanthus woglumi. Entomol Exp Appl 29:356–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ElHag ETA, Zaitoon AA (1996) Biological parameters for four coccinellid species in Central Saudi Arabia. Biol Control 7:316–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elliot NC, Kieckheffer RW (1990) A 13-year study of the aphidophagous insects of alfalfa. Prairie Naturalist 22:87–96Google Scholar
  19. Elliott N, Kieckhefer R, Kauffman W (1996) Effects of an invading coccinellid on native coccinellids in an agricultural landscape. Oecologia 105:537–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elliott NC, Kieckhefer RW, Lee JH, French BW (1999) Influence of within-field and landscape factors on aphid predator populations in wheat. Landscape Ecol 14:239–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ellis DR, Prokrym DR, Adams RG (1999) Exotic lady beetle survey in northeastern United States: Hippodamia variegate and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Entomol News 110:73–84Google Scholar
  22. Evans EW (2004) Habitat displacement of North American ladybirds by an introduced species. Ecology 85:637–647Google Scholar
  23. Ewing HE (1914) Some coccinellid statistics. J Econ Entomol 7:440–443Google Scholar
  24. Fenton FA, Howell DE (1955) A comparison of five methods of sampling alfalfa fields for arthropod populations. Ann Entomol Soc Am 50:606–611Google Scholar
  25. Fluke CL (1925) Natural enemies of the pea aphid (Illinoia pisi Kalt.); Their abundance and distribution in Wisconsin. J Econ Entomol 18:612–615Google Scholar
  26. Gagne WC, Martin JL (1968) The insect ecology of red pine plantations in Central Ontario. V. The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera). Can Entomol 100:835–846Google Scholar
  27. Godarzy K, Davis DW (1956) Natural enemies of the spotted alfalfa aphid in Utah. J Econ Entomol 51:612–616Google Scholar
  28. Gordon RD (1985) The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America north of Mexico. J NY Entomol Soc 93:1–912Google Scholar
  29. Gordon RD, Vandenberg N (1991) Field guide to recently introduced species of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in North America, with a revised key to North America genera of Coccinellini. Proc Entomol Soc Washington 93:845–864Google Scholar
  30. Hemptinne JL, Dixon AFG, Gauthier C (2000) Nutritive cost of intraguild predation on eggs of Coccinella septempunctata and Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Eur J Entomol 97:559–562Google Scholar
  31. Hesler LS, Kieckhefer RW, Catangui MA (2004) Surveys and field observations of Harmonia axyridis and other Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in eastern and central South Dakota. Trans Am Entomol Soc 130:113–133Google Scholar
  32. Hesler LS, Kieckhefer RW, Evenson PD (2000) Abundance of cereal aphids (Homoptera: aphididae) and their predators in spring wheat-alfalfa intercrops under different crop management intensities. Great Lakes Entomol 33:17–31Google Scholar
  33. Hodek I, Honěk A (1996) Ecology of Coccinellidae. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  34. Hoffmann MP, Orfanedes MS, Pedersen LH, Kirksyland JJ, Hobeke ER, Ayyappath R (1997) Survey of lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in sweet corn using yellow sticky cards. J Entomol Sci 32:358–369Google Scholar
  35. Iperti G (1999) Biodiversity of predaceous coccinellidae in relation to bioindication and economic importance. Agric Ecosys Environ 74:323–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Knowles TC (2006) Alfalfa aphid complex (blue alfalfa aphid, pea aphid, and the spotted alfalfa aphid). Scholar
  37. Koch RL (2003) The multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis: a review of its biology, uses in biological control, and non-target impacts. J Insect Sci 3:32PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. LaMana ML, Miller JC (1996) Field observations on Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Oregon. Biol Control 6:232–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lee RE (1980) Aggregation of Lady Beetles on the Shores of Lakes (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae). Am Midland Nat 104:295–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Magurran AE (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurement. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ USAGoogle Scholar
  41. Mareida KM, Gage SH, Landis DA, Wirth TM (1992) Ecological observation on predatory Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in Southwestern Michigan. Great Lakes Entomol 25:265–270Google Scholar
  42. Musser FR, Nyrop JP, Shelton AM (2004) Survey of predators and sampling method comparison in sweet corn. J Econ Entomol 97:136–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. New York State Agricultural Statistics Service (2001) New York Agricultural Statistics 2000–2001 Albany, NY USA.Google Scholar
  44. Obrycki JJ, Elliot NC, Giles KL (2000) Coccinellid introductions: potential for evaluation of nontarget effects. In: Follet PA, Duan JJ (eds) Non-target effects of biological control. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston MA USA, pp 127–145Google Scholar
  45. Pack HJ (1925) A biological study of certain ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae). Cornell University, Ithaca, NY USAGoogle Scholar
  46. Pedigo L, Rice M (2006) Entomology and pest management, 5th edn. Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ USAGoogle Scholar
  47. Putnam WL (1964) Occurrence and food of some Coccinellids (Coleoptera) in Ontario peach orchards. Can Entomol 96:1149–1155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rosenheim JA (2001) Source-sink dynamics for a generalist insect predator in habitats with strong higher-order predation. Ecol Monogr 71:93–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rutledge CE, O’Neil RJ, Fox TB, Landis DA (2004) Soybean aphid predators and their use in integrated pest management. Ann Entomol Soc Am 97:240–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sakuratani Y (1994) New record of Adalia bipunctata (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) from Japan. Japanese Jpn J Appl Entomol Zool 62:627–628Google Scholar
  51. Sato S, Dixon AFG (2004) Effect of intraguild predation on the survival and development of three species of aphidophagous ladybirds: consequences for invasive species. Ag Forest Entomol 6:21–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schellhorn NA (1998) Cannibalism and interspecific predation: the interaction among Coccinellid beetles, their aphid prey, and maize. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Minnesota, St Paul MNGoogle Scholar
  53. Schellhorn NA, Andow DA (1999) Cannibalism and interspecific predation: role of oviposition behavior. Ecol Appl 9:418–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith BC (1958) Notes on relative abundance and variation in elytral patterns of some common coccinellids in the Belleville district. Ann Rep Entomol Soc Ontario 88:59–60Google Scholar
  55. Smith BC (1971) Effects of various factors on the local distribution and density of coccinellid adults on corn (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Can Entomol 103:1115–1120Google Scholar
  56. Stephens EJ (2002) Apparent extirpation of Coccinella novemnotata in New York State: optimizing sampling methods and evaluating explanations for decline MS Thesis. Cornell University, Ithaca NY USAGoogle Scholar
  57. Toda Y, Sakuratani Y (2006) Expansion of the geographical distribution of an exotic ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and its interspecific relationships with native ladybird beetles in Japan. Ecol Res 21:292–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Turnock WJ, Turnock RW (1979) Aggregations of lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on the shores of Lake Manitoba. Manitoba Entomol 13:21–22Google Scholar
  59. Turnock WJ, Wise IL, Matheson FO (2003) Abundance of some native coccinellines (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) before and after the appearance of Coccinella septempunctata. Can Entomol 135:391–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. U.S.D.A. N.A.S.S. 1969, 1974, 1982, 1992, 1997. Census of Agriculture-State data. Government Printing Office, Washington DC USAGoogle Scholar
  61. Watve CM, Clower DF (1976) Natural enemies of the bandedwing whitefly in Louisiana. Environ Entomol 5:1075–1078Google Scholar
  62. Wheeler AG (1971) A Study of the Arthropod Fauna of Alfalfa. PhD Dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca NY USAGoogle Scholar
  63. Wheeler AG Jr, Hoebeke ER (1995) Coccinella novemnotata in northeastern North America: historical occurrence and current status (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Proc Entomol Soc Washington 97:701–716Google Scholar
  64. Williams M (1989) Americans and their forests: A Historical geography. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  65. Wise IL, Turnock WJ, Roughley RE (2001) New records of coccinellid species for the province of Manitoba. Proc Entomol Soc of Manitoba 57:5–10Google Scholar
  66. Wold SJ, Burkness EC, Hutchison WD, Venette RC (2001) In-field monitoring of beneficial insect populations in transgenic corn expressing a Bacillus thuringiensis toxin. J Entomol Sci 36:177–187Google Scholar
  67. Wright RJ, DeVries TA (2000) Species composition and relative abundance of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in South Central Nebraska field crops. J Kansas Entomol Soc 73:103–111Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason P. Harmon
    • 1
  • Erin Stephens
    • 2
  • John Losey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations