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Comment on "Invasive Harlequin Ladybird Carries Biological Weapons Against Native Competitors"

Jong, P.W. de; Lenteren, J.C. van; Raak-van den Berg, C.L.

Summary

We comment on the implications that Vilcinskas et al. (Reports, 17 May 2013, p. 862) attach to the finding that the exotic, invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis carries microsporidia to which this species is insensitive but that is lethal to species that are native to the invaded areas. The authors suggest that these microsporidia might serve as “biological weapons” against the native competitors, but we cast doubt on the importance of this suggestion in the field.