Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Potential displacement of the native Tenuisvalvae notata by the invasive Cryptolaemus montrouzieri in South America suggested by differences in climate suitability.

Abstract

Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae) is a predatory ladybird beetle native to South America. It specializes in mealybugs prey (Pseudococcidae), but relatively little is known about its ecology. In contrast, the ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coccinellidae) is indigenous to Australia and has been introduced to many countries worldwide including Brazil for biological control of mealybugs. The potential impacts of these introductions to native coccinellids have rarely been considered. The software CLIMEX estimated the climate suitability for both species as reflected in the Ecoclimatic Index (EI). Much of South America, Africa, and Australia can be considered climatically suitable for both species, but in most cases, the climate is considerably more favorable for C. montrouzieri than T. notata, especially in South America. The CLIMEX model also suggests seasonal differences in growth conditions (e.g. rainfall and temperature) that could affect the phenology of both species. These models suggest that few locations in South America would be expected to provide T. notata climatic refugia from C. montrouzieri. Although other ecological factors will also be important, such as prey availability, this analysis suggests a strong potential for displacement of a native coccinellid throughout most of its range as a consequence of the invasion by an alien competitor.