Bad side of a good beetle: the North American experience with Harmonia axyridis



The multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is a generalist predator of aphids and other soft-bodied insects and has been utilized in biological control programs around the world. Over the last two decades, this species has spread throughout much of the continental USA and southern Canada. Despite the benefits it offers as a biological control agent, H. axyridis is perhaps most well known for its adverse impacts. In this paper we provide a review of the North American experience with H. axyridis, focusing on these adverse impacts, which can be classified into three general categories: impacts on non-target arthropods, impacts on fruit production and impacts as a household invader. The impacts of H. axyridis on non-target arthropods and, to lesser extent, the impacts as a household invader possibly could have been anticipated, due to its generalist feeding preferences and overwintering behavior in Asia. However, it is unlikely that the impacts on fruit production could have been anticipated. Therefore, even in retrospect, it is difficult to predict the potential impacts that an introduced natural enemy might have in its adventive range.


Biological control Coccinellidae Coleoptera Invasive species 


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Protection DivisionMinnesota Department of AgricultureSaint PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MinnesotaSaint PaulUSA

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