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Do Biotic and Abiotic Factors Influence the Prevalence of a Common Parasite of the Invasive Alien Ladybird Harmonia axyridis?

  • Haelewaters, Danny1, 2, 3
  • Hiller, Thomas4
  • Ceryngier, Piotr5
  • Eschen, René6
  • Gorczak, Michał7, 8
  • Houston, Makenna L.2
  • Kisło, Kamil8
  • Knapp, Michal9
  • Landeka, Nediljko10
  • Pfliegler, Walter P.11
  • Zach, Peter12
  • Aime, M. Catherine2
  • Nedvěd, Oldřich1, 3
  • 1 Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice
  • 2 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN , (United States)
  • 3 Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, České Budějovice
  • 4 Department of Ecology of Tropical Agricultural Systems, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart , (Germany)
  • 5 Institute of Biological Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw , (Poland)
  • 6 CABI, Delémont , (Switzerland)
  • 7 Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw , (Poland)
  • 8 Botanic Garden, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw , (Poland)
  • 9 Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague
  • 10 Public Health Institute of the Istrian Region, Pula , (Croatia)
  • 11 Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Debrecen, Debrecen , (Hungary)
  • 12 Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Zvolen , (Slovakia)
Published Article
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Apr 13, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2022.773423
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Original Research


Hesperomyces virescens (Ascomycota, Laboulbeniales), a fungal ectoparasite, is thus far reported on Harmonia axyridis from five continents: North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. While it is known that He. virescens can cause mortality of Ha. axyridis under laboratory conditions, the role of biotic and abiotic factors in influencing the distribution of He. virescens in the field is unknown. We collected and screened 3,568 adult Ha. axyridis from 23 locations in seven countries in Central Europe between October and November 2018 to test the effect of selected host characters and climate and landscape variables on the infection probability with He. virescens. Mean parasite prevalence of He. virescens on Ha. axyridis was 17.9%, ranging among samples from 0 to 46.4%. Host sex, climate, and landscape composition did not have any significant effect on the infection probability of He. virescens on Ha. axyridis. Two color forms, f. conspicua and f. spectabilis, had a significantly lower parasite prevalence compared to the common Ha. axyridis f. novemdecimsignata.

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