Interactions between the parasitoid wasp Dinocampus coccinellae and two species of coccinellid from Japan and Britain

  • Satoshi Koyama
  • Michael E. N. MajerusEmail author


The establishment, spread and increase of the invasive coccinellid Harmonia axyridis Pallas in North America and Britain have coincided with declines in native ladybirds. In Britain, this pattern was predicted soon after H. axyridis was first recorded. However, predictions of the impact that H. axyridis may have on the parasites, parasitoids and pathogens of native coccinellids have been less certain, largely because of uncertainty over whether H. axyridis would become an alternate host for such agents. Dinocampus coccinellae (Schrank) is a braconid parasitoid of ladybirds of the sub-family Coccinellinae. In Japan, this wasp uses both Coccinella septempunctata brucki Mulsant and H. axyridis as hosts, but successfully parasitizes a higher proportion of the former species. Data are here presented that indicate the same is true in Britain, but to a greater extent. This study investigates the interactions of D. coccinellae with C. septempunctata L. and H. axyridis from Japan and Britain. We show that coccinellid activity affects encounter rates with the wasp, with H. axyridis being more active than C. septempunctata in the tests. Escalation rates from investigation to ovipositional attack were higher for C. septempunctata than H. axyridis for both Japanese and British wasps. Wasp emergence was higher, relative to ovipositional attack, from C. septempunctata than from H. axyridis. Wasps did not discriminate between Japanese and British ladybirds of the same species. British wasp eclosion rates were higher from Japanese than from British H. axyridis. We consider both the effect D. coccinellae may have on H. axyridis population demography, and the effect H. axyridis may have on D. coccinellae in Europe.


Braconidae Coccinella septempunctata Coccinellidae Dinocampus coccinellae Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis Host favourability Host selection Parasitoid wasp 


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© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeneticsCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of AgricultureTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyFuchu, TokyoJapan

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