Temporal and climatic variation in the colour forms of Adalia bipunctata and Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) populations in the United Kingdom
Colour form polymorphism in Adalia bipunctata (Linnaeus, 1785) and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas, 1773) has been extensively studied in the past. Climate, season, and region are known to influence the colour form frequencies of these species, however, this effect is region specific, and the response of populations has changed over time. Here, 5862 photographic records from the UK Ladybird Survey from 2013-2017 were used to assess the geographic variation in colour form frequency (melanic versus non-melanic) of A. bipunctata and H. axyridis across the United Kingdom (UK) in relation to climate and season. Climate data from the UK Met Office were used to determine the effect of climate on melanic form. Seasonal variation in melanic form was observed in H. axyridis but not A. bipunctata. For H. axyridis, the probability of being melanic decreased in areas with higher annual sunlight hours. In A. bipunctata, there was an interaction between sunlight hours and rainfall. In areas with low rainfall, the probability of being melanic was negatively correlated with sunlight hours. Where rainfall was high, the probability of being melanic was positively correlated with sunlight hours. These findings highlight the role of climate in determining the proportion of colour forms in UK populations of A. bipunctata and H. axyridis. Furthermore, the results support the hypothesis that seasonal variation in melanism does not occur in A. bipunctata populations with a low overall proportion of melanics.
|Year of Publication||
European Journal of Entomology
|Number of Pages||
|Type of Article||