Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (1): 87-90, 2011 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2011.011

The effect of the coccinellid Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on transmission of the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis (Entomophthorales: Entomophthoraceae)

Patricia M. WELLS1,2, Jason BAVERSTOCK1, Michael E.N. MAJERUS2, Francis M. JIGGINS2, Helen E. ROY3, Judith K. PELL1
1 Department of Plant and Invertebrate Ecology, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK; e-mails: trish.wells@bbsrc.ac.uk; jason.baverstock@bbsrc.ac.uk, judith.pell@bbsrc.ac.uk
2 Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EH, UK; e-mail: fmj1001@mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
3 Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK; e-mail: hele@ceh.ac.uk

The coccinellid Harmonia axyridis is a recent arrival in the UK and is an intraguild predator of the entomopathogenic fungus Pandora neoaphidis. Harmonia axyridis entirely consumes P. neoaphidis-sporulating cadavers and this may have a negative effect on the epizootic potential of P. neoaphidis. Here we assessed within plant transmission, and between plant vectoring, of P. neoaphidis in the presence of either H. axyridis or Coccinella septempunctata, a native coccinellid that only partially consumes fungal cadavers. Transmission was greater in the presence of coccinellids, with 21% of aphids becoming infected with the fungus whilst only 4% were infected in the control. However, there was no significant effect of coccinellid species or sex on fungal transmission. Between plant vectoring occurred infrequently in the presence of both species of coccinellid. The effect of H. axyridis on P. neoaphidis transmission is, therefore, likely to be similar to that of the native coccinellid C. septempunctata.

Keywords: Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, Coccinella septempunctata, multicoloured Asian ladybeetle, harlequin ladybird, seven-spot ladybird, Entomophthorales, Pandora neoaphidis, enhanced transmission, vectoring

Received: July 4, 2010; Accepted: November 11, 2010; Published: January 3, 2011

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