Influence of diet on fecundity, immune defence and content of 2-isopropyl-3-methoxipyrazine in Harmonia axyridis PALLAS
Food type can affect all functional aspects of an insect’s life. We investigated the effects of different diet regimes on life history parameters of the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis. Furthermore, we tested the importance of elytral color, sex, and diet on chemical and immune defense in this species. We also compared hemolymph from cohorts of H. axyridis and Coccinella septempunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) fed different diets to examine effects on the 2-isopropyl-3-methoxypyrazine (IPMP) content in these beetles. No effects of diet on the duration of larval development and on adult weight were found. We detected, however, significantly higher fecundity and oviposition rates when female H. axyridis were reared on pea aphids than when reared on eggs of Ephestia kuehniella. Males and females did not differ in their immune response. Elytral color affected both immune defense and chemical defense. The antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph differed only when morphotypes were tested against E. coli. Moreover, we observed an effect of elytral pigmentation on IPMP content. The succinea 2 type (orange without dots) had the lowest IPMP content in two out of three feeding regimes compared to the succinea 1 (orange with dots) type. Depending on diet, IPMP contents differed in both species leading to higher contents either in H. axyridis or C. septempunctata. Furthermore, aphid species ingested during larval development significantly affected IPMP content in adult beetles. These results implicate new aspects for risk assessment of H. axyridis in viticulture.