The harlequin ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) has invaded and established in Slovakia. Following unintentional introduction in 2008, the spread of the alien coccinellid was very fast. By the end of 2009, it was recorded across the whole country, and by the end of 2012 it was widely distributed and common in various habitats, particularly gardens, orchards and urban areas, where it was most frequent on trees. The rate of eastward spread was approximately 200 km year -1, similar to the overall rate of spread in Europe. Between 2008 and 2012, the coccinellid was recorded in a total of 153 localities, in altitudes ranging from 98 to 1,250 m. Most records of this species were made in lowlands, hilly areas and valleys separating mountain ridges. However, it was only rarely documented in areas above 700 m a.s.l. The non-melanic colour form (f. succinea) was dominant along a longitudinal transect including eight urban areas across Slovakia, with the frequency of melanic forms (f. spectabilis and f. conspicua together) between 6.3 and 19.2% and a median equal to 10.5%. The invasion history and distribution of H. axyridis in Slovakia are discussed with regard to the time sequence of records, rate of spread, altitudinal distribution, anthropogenic dispersal, effective recording, proportion of melanic forms and other relevant aspects associated with the spread of this successful invader.