Harmonia axyridis with Laboulbeniales fungus - Harmonia axyridis
Santa Cruz, RMG, Santa Cruz County, California, USA
May 29, 2015
This photo, admittedly harshly lit appalled me even more with the extent of damage that this fungus has inflicted. Setting aside the issue that there is not small dislike of H. axyridis, check out the severity of the effects of the fungus. Honestly, I had wondered if this fungus was not some bio-engineered attempt at eradication of this coccinellidid. Anyway here are some personal observations:
1)Despite the claim (which I don't doubt) that this fungus attacks Hippodamia and other genera, at this location there are H. convergens in droves as well as several other genera that are almost always present, yet, H. axyridis seems to be the only one effected!
2)It seems as though the black markings are less susceptible to being effected.
3)White parts on the pronotum seem to have been completely eaten through.
4)Weather here is mostly sunny and dry. (severe drought conditions) Though there is generally some dew in the mornings.
5)I've noticed for a long time (years?) that H. axyridis is extremely vulnerable to this condition (at least in the California Bay Area, and Central Coast.
The reason for the lengthy comments (which may well be repeated by others, given the existence of this unique taxon page is that it is sort of interesting, and I wanted to add my 2 cents worth. Also, if specimen are needed or wanted for study, unless things have changed overnight it would be no problem for me to supply them. It is a little awful to see anything suffering, yet the specificity of this species vulnerability is very interesting. I can normally find 4 or 5 different ladybug species at this spot, yet only one species seems to be effected.
Lastly, notice that the sad state of the ladybug did not seem to benefit the aphid!