Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (2): 285-292, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.042

Occurrence of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in field crops

Axel VANDEREYCKEN1, Yves BROSTAUX2, Emilie JOIE1, Eric HAUBRUGE1, François J. VERHEGGEN1
1 University of Liege, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Entomologie fonctionnelle et évolutive; Passage des Déportés 2, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium; e-mails: a.vandereycken@ulg.ac.be; ejoie@ulg.ac.be; e.haubruge@ulg.ac.be; fverheggen@ulg.ac.be
2 University of Liege, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Unité de Statistique, Informatique et Mathématique appliquées, Avenue de la Faculté 8, B-5030 Gembloux, Belgium; e-mail: y.brostaux@ulg.ac.be

The Multicoloured Asian Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is known to thrive principally in shrubby and arboreal habitats. This study focuses on the occurrence of this exotic species and its seasonal abundance in various field crops. The abundance of adults, larvae and pupae of H. axyridis was evaluated over a three-year period, from 2009 to 2011, in four important agronomical crops (wheat, corn, broad bean and potato) in Belgium. From May to September, 48 1-m2 quadrats were visually inspected in each of the fields sampled on several farms every seven days. H. axyridis colonized and reproduced in all of the four crops studied, with the largest numbers recorded in corn and broad bean crops. Larvae and adults of H. axyridis were recorded mainly in corn and to a much less extent in wheat and potato crops. From 2009 to 2011, the mean weekly abundance of H. ayxridis remained constant except in corn crops, where the recorded densities of all the immature stages and adults were higher in 2011 than in 2009. The population dynamics of aphids and H. axyridis are well described by a symmetric logistic function (S-shape) of cumulative population size. H. axyridis was not always recorded where aphids were abundant, e.g. aphids were abundant on wheat where no H. axyridis were recorded. H. axyridis start reproducing after the peak in aphid population, suggesting that H. axyridis is able to complete its development by feeding on alternative prey such as larvae and pupae of the same and other species of ladybird and other aphidophagous species. H. axyridis is often considered to be bivoltine but it only completes one generation per year in field crops. The second generation generally develops late in the season in other habitats.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, habitat, crops, agroecosystems, ladybird, exotic species

Received: June 26, 2012; Accepted: November 22, 2012; Published: April 11, 2013

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