The objective of this study was to assess the potential pest status of Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) on autumn-ripening fruit. In autumn, H. axyridis has been observed feeding on pumpkins, apples, grapes, and raspberries in Minnesota. To determine whether H. axyridis can inflict primary feeding damage to fruit (i.e., breaking the skin of the fruit), we conducted laboratory feeding experiments with undamaged pumpkins, apples, grapes, and raspberries. The only fruit that H. axyridis was able to damage directly was raspberry. Laboratory choice tests were conducted to determine whether H. axyridis exhibits a preference between damaged and undamaged fruit, between cultivars of fruit, and between sugar water and water alone. For all fruits tested, H. axyridis showed a preference for damaged fruits over undamaged fruits. H. axyridis also exhibited a strong preference for sugar water over water alone. However, few differences were exhibited in preference between cultivars of fruit. In autumn, it seems that H. axyridis is an opportunist, taking advantage of previously damaged fruit, caused by other agents.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2