Harmonia axyridis failed to establish in the Azores: the role of species richness, intraguild interactions and resource availability.
To understand the role of native ladybird biodiversity in habitat susceptibility on the establishment and spread of Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), we characterized and compared European communities where they had established and where they had not established. The local communities of ladybirds were characterized in terms of biodiversity, the average difference in body mass between H. axyridis and other coccinellid species and the rarefied total body mass of all individuals (as a surrogate for aphid abundance and availability). The lack of success of H. axyridis in the Azores, as well as its low success in Southern Europe, can be explained by a combination of resource availability and intraguild competition. We suggest the success of this invasive alien species to establish in a habitat depends first on resource availability and second when most direct competitors for limited resources are absent or are uncommon.