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Invasive Ladybird Species Threatens Other Ladybirds in England

The harlequin ladybird, officially known as Harmonia axyridis, was widely introduced across continental Europe to limit the population of pest insects. 

Monday, October 16, 2017 3:12 pm EDT
"The 2-spot used to be one of our most abundant ladybird species but is now quite tricky to find. The study shows clear changes in the ladybird community as a result of the harlequin's dominance."

The harlequin ladybird, officially known as Harmonia axyridis, was widely introduced across continental Europe to limit the population of pest insects. In Britain, harlquins arrived primarily by spread from mainland Europe, and it is now very common and widespread over most of England and Wales. A new Insect Conservation and Diversity study shows a clear decrease in the numbers of a native ladybird species—the 2-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata—on lime trees over an 11 year period in which the harlequin invaded England.

Harlequin ladybirds accounted for up to 70% of all the ladybirds recorded on the trees. They are known to feed on 2-spots at times, and this predation may be an important driver of the changes observed.

“This long-term field study shows just how numerous harlequin ladybirds have become,” said co-author Dr. Peter Brown, of Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK. “The 2-spot used to be one of our most abundant ladybird species but is now quite tricky to find. The study shows clear changes in the ladybird community as a result of the harlequin's dominance.”

Additional Information

Link to Study:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/icad.12266/abstract

About Journal

Insect Conservation and Diversity explicitly associates the two concepts of insect diversity and insect conservation for the benefit of invertebrate conservation.  The journal places an emphasis on wild arthropods and specific relations between arthropod conservation and diversity.  Key topics covered in the journal will include biogeography, climate change (and its impacts on distributions and range), conservation genetics, global biodiversity, integrating conservation science and policy, and long-term planning and implementation. Insect Conservation and Diversity is particularly keen to welcome submissions that are related to the following concepts: Understanding the past and present distribution of biodiversity, implementing suitable monitoring systems for arthropod populations to disentangle stochastic and natural variation from that resulting from anthropogenic action, identifying harmful factors influencing arthropod populations and their cascading effects on ecosystem services, seeking strategies to alleviate the action of harmful factors and restoring ecosystem services


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Contact:

Canon Carson
US +1 201-748-5838
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

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