Establishment and spread of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Greece: based on contributions from citizen scientists

Angelidou, Ιoanna; Demetriou, Jakovos; Christou, Maria; Koutsoukos, Evangelos; Kazilas, Christos; Georgiades, Pantelis; Kalaentzis, Konstantinos; Κontodimas, Dimitris C.; Groom, Quentin; Roy, Helen E.; Martinou, Angeliki F.. 2023 Establishment and spread of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Greece: based on contributions from citizen scientists. Biological Invasions, 25 (3). 889-900.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N534092JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, 1773), also known as the harlequin ladybird, is an invasive non-native species intentionally introduced to many countries as a biological control agent of agricultural pests. In Greece, H. axyridis was first introduced as a biological control agent in 1994, with releases taking place between 1994 and 2000. For many years there was no evidence to indicate that H. axyridis had established self-sustaining populations. In 2008, a citizen science campaign was initiated aimed at raising awareness regarding the invasive status of H. axyridis to farmers and agronomists. The campaign did not yield results, and it was discontinued in 2011. During this study, the distribution, phenology, and presence of H. axyridis in different habitat types and protected areas in Greece are investigated, using both citizen science data and literature records. Records from iΝaturalist, the Alientoma database and social media examined herein demonstrate that H. axyridis has been established in Greece since 2010. Harmonia axyridis is currently present in 13 administrative districts of Greece, most of them at a considerable distance from the initial release sites. The harlequin ladybird is present in urban and agricultural habitats as well as seventeen NATURA 2000 sites. The adverse socioeconomic and environmental impacts of H. axyridis are briefly discussed alongside suggestions for management activities. Based on our findings, we propose the establishment of a national monitoring scheme for H. axyridis and native ladybirds that will also encourage public participation in recording ladybird observations and provide information on the distribution, spread and impact of this invasive non-native species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1387-3547
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: non-native species, biodiversity monitoring, biological invasions, citizen science, harlequin ladybird, NATURA 2000 network
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 27 Feb 2023 15:08 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...