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Discovery of an alien invasive, predatory insect in South Africa: The multicoloured Asian ladybird beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

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      Abstract

      The Asian ladybird beetle, Harmonia axyridis (HA) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is a generalist predator long valued as a biocontrol agent of pestiferous aphids and other invertebrates. However, HA has become highly invasive in North America and Europe. The beetle is eurytopic, broadly polyphagous, very dispersive and pheno-typically highly plastic. In the United States and Europe, this pest is implicated in adverse ecological impacts involving changes in invaded communities through interspecific competition and intraguild predation. Additionally, HA can be a household nuisance, and affect human health and agricultural production. The beetle has now reached South Africa. A founder population has become established in the Western Cape province, and the species has also been collected in the Eastern Cape province. We present illustrated diagnoses of HA and selected resident South African Coccinellidae with which it may be confused. There is reason to suspect that HA will spread rapidly through much of South Africa and beyond and bring to bear its negative consequences here. The early detection of this incursion presents a rare opportunity to study an anticipated biological invasion virtually from its beginning.

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      Most cited references 51

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      Understanding the long-term effects of species invasions.

      We describe here the ecological and evolutionary processes that modulate the effects of invasive species over time, and argue that such processes are so widespread and important that ecologists should adopt a long-term perspective on the effects of invasive species. These processes (including evolution, shifts in species composition, accumulation of materials and interactions with abiotic variables) can increase, decrease, or qualitatively change the impacts of an invader through time. However, most studies of the effects of invasive species have been brief and lack a temporal context; 40% of recent studies did not even state the amount of time that had passed since the invasion. Ecologists need theory and empirical data to enable prediction, understanding and management of the acute and chronic effects of species invasions.
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        Biology of Coccinellidae

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          Ecological Effects of Invasive Arthropod Generalist Predators

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute South Africa
            [2 ] ARC-Small Grain Institute South Africa
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            sajs
            South African Journal of Science
            S. Afr. j. sci.
            Academy of Science of South Africa (Pretoria )
            1996-7489
            April 2007
            : 103
            : 3-4
            : 123-126
            S0038-23532007000200010

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO South Africa
            Categories
            Biology
            Humanities, Multidisciplinary

            General life sciences

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