Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 350-354, 2017 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2017.044

A "clean" alien species? Parasites of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Krzysztof DUDEK1, Paweł SIENKIEWICZ2, Dariusz J. GWIAZDOWICZ3, Piotr TRYJANOWSKI1
1 Department of Zoology, Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71C, 60-625 Poznań, Poland; e-mails: dudeekk@gmail.com, piotr.tryjanowski@gmail.com
2 Department of Entomology and Environmental Protection, Poznań University of Life Sciences, D±browskiego 159, 60-594 Poznań, Poland; e-mail: ophonus@gmail.com
3 Department of Forest Pathology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71C, 60-625 Poznań, Poland; e-mail: dagwiazd@up.poznan.pl

The multicoloured Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis is an invasive insect that can negatively influence biodiversity and human economy in invaded areas. According to the enemy release hypothesis, invasive alien species are often little affected by parasites and other enemies. We studied the prevalence of common parasites of insects infesting and infecting H. axyridis in NW Poland. A large sample of 2351 individuals was collected and divided into two groups: 1180 beetles were dissected and examined for the presence of eugregarines, nematodes and Laboulbeniales fungi, and 751 were checked for phoretic mites. Our results show that H. axyridis is indeed parasitized infrequently. The prevalence of eugregarines and nematodes was very low (1.5% and 0.4%, respectively). No specimens of Laboulbeniales or phoretic mites were found. Our study indicates that in NW Poland H. axyridis is rarely infested or infected by parasites. This paper reports for the first time the infection of H. axyridis by the eugregarine Gregarina barbarara.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, eugregarines, fungi, nematodes, phoretic mites, insect ecology

Received: March 31, 2017; Accepted: July 13, 2017; Published online: July 26, 2017

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