We conducted field-cage studies on the direct interactions between a coccinellid species native to North America, Coleomegilla maculata De Geer, and a species introduced from Asia, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). We compared the mortality and weight gain of larvae of both species in field cages that enclosed one or both species with corn plants containing high or low aphid numbers. We did not find a significant effect of the presence of H. axyridis on the survival or weight gain of C. maculata, but H. axyridis larvae weighed more when kept with C. maculata for 5 days than when kept with equal numbers of conspecifics. This suggests that intraspecific competition was stronger for H. axyridis than the interspecific competition with C. maculata. The spatial distribution of C. maculata over the plants differed between single-species and two-species treatments in a manner that suggested that this species avoided interactions with H. axyridis.
- Coleomegilla maculata
- Harmonia axyridis