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Impact of fruit feeding on overwintering survival of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, and the ability of this insect and paper wasps to injure wine grape berries

Galvan, Tederson L., Koch, Robert L., Hutchison, William D.
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2008 v.128 no.3 pp. 429-436
Harmonia axyridis, Polistes dominula, adults, diapause, diet, females, fruits, growth chambers, insect flight, laboratory experimentation, males, overwintering, paper wasps, small fruits, soybeans, sucrose, survival rate, vineyards, wine grapes, winter
The establishment of the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), in North America has resulted in negative impacts on fruit production. We investigated the overwintering survival of H. axyridis after feeding on four diets: injured wine grape berries, 25% sucrose solution, water, and a control containing no food or water. After being exposed to these diets for 6 days, live individuals were transferred to clean plastic Petri dishes, and held at 5 ± 1 °C in growth chambers throughout the winter. Survival was recorded every month. Adult lady beetles collected during the overwintering flight in mid-October had higher survival rates than beetles collected from soybean fields in mid-August. These results suggest that an adaptation period prior to diapause increases the chances of lady beetle survival over the winter. In addition, injured wine grape berries, sugar, and water decreased beetle mortality during the overwintering months. Our results also showed that under similar conditions, females have higher survival during the winter than males. The importance of sugar and water on winter survival may drive H. axyridis adults to vineyards for feeding on wine grapes. Finally, we tested if adults of H. axyridis and the European paper wasp, Polistes dominulus Christ (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), were able to break the grape skin. Harmonia axyridis adults and paper wasps were not able to cause the primary injury to berries of Frontenac grapes under laboratory conditions. These results suggest that control of paper wasps in vineyards may not affect H. axyridis aggregations, and that H. axyridis feeding on wine grapes depends on previous injury to grape berries.