Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 11:47 AM

Movement of ladybeetles across an agricultural landscape

Claudio Gratton,, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Entomology, 1630 Linden Dr, 237 Russell Labs, Madison, WI and Katherine J. Forbes,, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Zoology, 432 Birge Hall, Madison, WI.

Community interactions are increasingly being viewed in a more open context, with prey as well as predators moving between areas that have traditionally been considered isolated. To better understand the dynamics of food webs requires that we know something of how predator and prey species move and utilize different habitats in the landscape. In this study we used stable isotope techniques to gain insights into the movement dynamics of predatory lady beetles in a mosaic of crops in Wisconsin. Using this technique, we found clear differences in habitat use by lady beetle species. In particular, Harmonia axyridis reproduced prolifically in soybeans, spilling-over into other crops such as alfalfa and corn, while Coccinella septempunctata was the most successful species in alfalfa and did not show the same degree of interhabitat movement as Harmonia.

Species 1: Coleoptera Coccinellidae Harmonia axyridis (multicolored Asian lady beetle)
Species 2: Coleoptera Coccinellidae Coccinella septempunctata (Sevenspotted Lady Beetle)
Species 3: Hemiptera Aphididae Aphis glycines (soybean aphid)

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