Invasive alien species under attack: natural enemies of Harmonia axyridis in the Netherlands

Raak-van den Berg, C.L.; Wielink, P. van; Jong, P.W. de; Gort, G.; Haelewaters, D.; Helder, J.; Lenteren, J.C. van


The aphid predator Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an invasive alien species in Europe and North America with negative effects on non-target species (including a decline of native ladybird populations), as well as fruit production, and human health. It is, therefore, important to find out which natural enemies could be used to reduce their numbers. Knowledge of H. axyridis’ natural enemies is summarised and data collected from the Netherlands over the past ten years are presented. Beetles were sampled from winter aggregations and from spring through to autumn with illuminated screens at night. Natural enemies were not found in samples of H. axyridis from 2003–2007. From 2008 onward H. axyridis adults were infested by: Hesperomyces virescens Thaxt. fungi (summer and winter), Parasitylenchus bifurcatus Poinar and Steenberg nematodes (winter), Coccipolipus hippodamiae (McDaniel and Morrill) mites (winter), and Dinocampus coccinellae (Schrank) parasitoids (summer and winter). Our results indicate that these natural enemies are starting to use H. axyridis as a host, but are as yet not sufficiently abundant to control the population.