ANALYSIS OF NATIVE AND HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD POPULATIONS AND THEIR ASSOCIATION WITH THE PRESENCE OF PHYTOPHAGOUS APHIDS PUBLISHEDPaula BULZ, Lorena MĂDEA, Diana PURICE, Ramona STEF, Ana Maria VIRTEIU, Ioana GROZEA* University of Life Sciences “King Michael I” Timisoara, Romania email@example.com
Ladybugs are increasingly present lately in agricultural crops, horticulture, gardens and parks, both in individual and mixed culture systems. The connection between them and plants is less supported because they are present where phytophagous aphids are also present. The role of ladybugs is beneficial, as they are known to reduce the populations of aphids that feed on plants. Bearing these things in mind, we proposed that through the present paper we will see what is the share of native and harlequin (Asian) species, the latter being invasive. It is also important to see what the ratio is between ladybugs and the aphid populations present. The study was carried out for 2 years (2021-2022) in a mixed space that combines various ornamental plants, corn, vegetables and fruit trees, dispersed over 1000 m2, located near the houses. From the ones analyzed, we found that the harlequin ladybugs had a higher percentage than the local ones (ie, 68% compared to 42%). Regarding their association with aphid populations, we found that the predator-phytophagous ratio was 1 ladybug to 20 aphids. This highlights that the populations of aphids in a mixed space that offers the possibility of shelter over the winter and implicitly large populations of ladybugs in the following year, can be managed only by ladybugs, no other control solutions are necessary.
ladybugs, native, invasive, combined plants, aphids, control