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Biological weapon that is out. Ladybird Eastern mowed down opponents devastating parasite

Originally supposed to be a biological weapon against pests of agricultural crops. Then came ladybug East to North America, were planted later in Europe. Since the turn of the millennium, but it started spreading uncontrollably and even Czech Republic is a problem, especially for wine. German researchers have discovered why the Eastern ladybirds become so successful invasive species and the fight against their European counterparts.

In addition to substances with a strong antibiotic effect and antimicrobial peptides containing their hemolymph (the insect equivalent of blood) also called hmyzomorky - a type of fungus that acts as an intracellular parasite and can significantly harm its host. Ladybird east, however, is immune against these parasites. When you transfer the original ladybird species but has parasites as devastating biological weapon.

Ladybird East is equipped with extreme resistance to various diseases. You could say that creates a three-stage protection, partly thanks to a dozen antibodies with anti-microbial effect, partly due to a substance called harmonine, which has a very strong antibiotic effect. The key to the success of invasive species is but apparently that kind of parasitic fungus that survives just in substance harmonine.

Ladybird Eastern resists fungus

Although most aphids alive ladybirds, some individuals eat also other insects. And here is probably the biggest advantage eastern relatives before native species. If ladybug eats eastern example domestic ladybug, nothing happens. In the opposite case, however, ladybug die. Asian ladybug species using a sponge as a kind of protection, especially their eggs and larvae.

While domestic ladybugs spores of fungi have invaded, Asian comrades alone. According to German scientists Asian ladybug can keep harmless parasitic fungus in their body fluid, but once the fungus gets into the body of another insect species will be active. According to scientific research published in the current issue of the journal Science stands for ecological success of invasive ladybugs, a combination of extreme resistance to disease and active defense by mikrovýtrusů parasitic fungi.

Killer on the run from the greenhouse

At the end of the century ladybug East began to be used in greenhouses as a "biological spraying" against aphids. It can for his incredible voracity, per day can consume hundreds of aphids and other insects or their eggs. But this biological weapon came from the greenhouses into the wild.

Most of alien species in a new environment unsuccessful, either can not survive at all or only a small population remains. But not so Ladybird east, which successfully occupying new territory, in particular the place of the original insects that feed on aphids. For example, in Germany began ladybugs in greenhouses used at the turn of the millennium, the Czech Republic, the first occurrence dates from 2006. Invasive species in a very short time pushed native species and occupied their territory.

During the autumn it is possible to observe a large group of ladybugs, organized raids on buildings in which they want to survive the winter. Some people may ladybugs cause severe allergic reactions. When you have a lack of food Asian lady beetles, are able to feed on grapes, which fixed the wrinkles winemakers. If ladybugs get along with grapes to the press can devalue future wine unpleasant flavor.


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