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Chemical protection of Calvia quatuordecimguttata eggs against intraguild predation by the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis

  • Remy Lian Ware
  • Felipe Ramon-Portugal
  • Alexandra Magro
  • Christine Ducamp
  • Jean-Louis Hemptinne
  • Michael E. N. Majerus
Chapter

Abstract

Intraspecific and interspecific predation of eggs is a well documented phenomenon amongst aphidophagous coccinellids. The invasive species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is known to be a top intraguild predator and reported to attack the eggs of many coccinellid species both in a laboratory setting and in the wild. A previous laboratory study highlighted that while many species’ eggs were highly palatable to H. axyridis, the eggs of Calvia quatuordecimguttata (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) appeared to be extremely well protected from attack. Here we present the results of behavioural experiments testing the hypothesis that substances on the egg surface are responsible for this protection, and report preliminary results of GC-MS analysis of these compounds. When the coatings of C. quatuordecimguttata eggs were removed using hexane, they became significantly more susceptible to predation by neonate H. axyridis larvae. However, their overall palatability was not affected, in that complete consumption was never or rarely observed. This suggests that the surface compounds are a true indicator of unpalatability in this species. The effect of hexane-washing on already palatable conspecific eggs was also analysed but had no significant effect on the susceptibility of eggs to cannibalism. We conclude that the eggs of at least one European species are effectively protected by surface deterrents from intraguild predation by H. axyridis. This effect might be due to both the diversity and abundance of hydrocarbons present within the egg coating, the presence of alkenes and/or the presence of patches of a red substance on the eggs’ surface, which is thought to belong to the acid group. In conjunction with data on the susceptibility of other immature stages of C. quatuordecimguttata, this finding may indicate a decreased risk of the species falling victim to invasive H. axyridis, despite their coincident habitat ranges.

Keywords

Calvia quatuordecimguttata Chemical defence Chemoecology Coccinellidae Cream-spot ladybird Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis Intraguild predation 

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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Remy Lian Ware
    • 1
  • Felipe Ramon-Portugal
    • 2
  • Alexandra Magro
    • 2
  • Christine Ducamp
    • 2
  • Jean-Louis Hemptinne
    • 2
  • Michael E. N. Majerus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’AgroécologieUMR CNRS 5174 «Evolution et Diversité Biologique», Ecole Nationale de Formation AgronomiqueCastanet-TolosanFrance

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