Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Alien Coccinellidae (ladybirds) in Sochi National Park and its vicinity, Russia.

Abstract

About 20 alien species of Coccinellidae were released for biological control of pests in the Caucasus. Some of them were reported to be established, but no monitoring of their populations was conducted. So the current state of the populations is unknown. In particular, it was unknown what alien ladybirds occur in Sochi National Park. Survey of Coccinellidae in Sochi National Park and the city of Sochi in 2013, 2016 and 2017 has revealed that the following alien ladybirds occur in the region: Harmonia axyridis, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Serangium montazerii and Lindorus lophantae. Harmonia axyridis is an Asian species, which has recently become a global invader. It is a top-predator which has caused a decline of ladybirds in many regions of the world. In 2012 the first established population of this species was found in the Caucasus, namely in Sochi. Now H. axyridis has spread along the whole Black Sea coast of the Caucasus and has become abundant in the region. It is abundant not only in the city of Sochi, but also in the mountain forests of Sochi National Park. It could potentially have a serious impact on native ecosystems, especially on ladybirds. Probably the current population of H. axyridis in the Caucasus has appeared as a result of spread from Western Europe and releases of specimens for biocontrol. Cryptolaemus montrouzieri and Lindorus lophantae introduced from Australia and Serangium montazerii introduced from India have been found only in the city of Sochi and are not abundant. Probably they do not affect the ecosystems of Sochi National Park now. But the monitoring of populations of these alien species is necessary, since established populations exist in the region.