Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (4): 585-591, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.079

Diapause and post-diapause quiescence demonstrated in overwintering Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in northwestern Europe

C. Lidwien RAAK-VAN DEN BERG1, Peter W. DE JONG1, Lia HEMERIK2, Joop C. VAN LENTEREN1
1 Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8031, 6700 EH, Wageningen, The Netherlands; e-mails: LidwienRaakvandenBerg@gmail.com; Peter.deJong@wur.nl; Joop.vanLenteren@wur.nl
2 Biometris, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; e-mail: lia.hemerik@wur.nl

The Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is regarded as an invasive species in many parts of the world. In a previous study we hypothesised that H. axyridis enters diapause at the end of October and then shifts to a quiescent state in December in northwestern Europe. In the present study we test this idea of a short, early period of diapause by sampling beetles from their hibernation sites immediately after their migratory flights in October, subsequently keeping them in outdoor cages, and then, after certain time-intervals, measuring the pre-oviposition time under optimal egg-laying laboratory conditions at 25C. We did this at both short (12L) and long (16L) photoperiods, since a photoperiodic response is an indicator of true diapause, rather than quiescence. A significant, albeit small, difference in pre-oviposition period between the two photoperiods, which disappears in December, corroborates our earlier hypothesis that the ladybirds are in a state of diapause until mid-December. Compared with that of native ladybirds the diapause of H. axyridis generally is relatively short and weak; moreover, it appears to have become shorter over the last decade. This flexibility in diapausing behaviour may be an important factor that contributes to the invasive success of H. axyridis.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, invasive species, hibernation, diapause, quiescence, pre-oviposition period, semi-field experiment

Received: January 14, 2013; Accepted: May 13, 2013; Prepublished online: October 1, 2013; Published: December 1, 2013

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