Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 123-128, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.017

The ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a possible predator of grape phylloxera Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Hemiptera: Phylloxeridae)

Susanne KÖGEL1, Manuela SCHIELER1,2, Christoph HOFFMANN1
1 Julius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Geilweilerhof, D-76833 Siebeldingen, Germany; e-mail: Susanne.koegel@jki.bund.de
2 Trier University, FB VI, Department of Biogeography, D-54286 Trier, Germany

The ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas 1773) has been used for biological control in several countries. However, it became invasive in some of those countries. Coccinella septempunctata (Linné 1758) is a native species in Europe. It feeds mainly on aphids and can be very abundant. As far as is known there are no effective natural enemies of the grape phylloxera Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch 1855) in Europe. The potential of the above two ladybird species for reducing the abundance of the grapevine pest D. vitifoliae has not been previously investigated. In this study, the consumption and developmental parameters of H. axyridis and C. septempunctata fed on D. vitifoliae were determined in the laboratory. In a field trial, the occurrence of H. axyridis on grapevines with or without leaf galls of D. vitifoliae was compared. In contrast to C. septempunctata, H. axyridis was able to complete its development using D. vitifoliae as a source of food. In addition, adult H. axyridis consumed significantly more D. vitifoliae eggs than C. septempunctata. Within 24 h H. axyridis consumed up to 1400 eggs of D. vitifoliae. However, based on the fitness parameters "developmental time", percentage "survival" and "adult weight", this diet was less suitable for H. axyridis than the eggs of Ephestia kuehniella. During field observations over a period of two years H. axyridis was repeatedly observed feeding on grape phylloxera leaf galls, which indicates that H. axyridis uses grape phylloxera as prey. H. axyridis was significantly more abundant on leaves with leaf galls of D. vitifoliae than on leaves without galls. C. septempunctata was rarely found on grape leaves with or without leaf galls. These results indicate that overall H. axyridis, unlike C. septempunctata, is a predator of D. vitifoliae and could potentially reduce grape phylloxera numbers in vineyards.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, Hemiptera, Phylloxeridae, Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, grapevine, Vitis vinifera, consumption

Received: April 17, 2012; Accepted: August 24, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

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