Fast–slow continuum in the life history parameters of ladybirds revisited

  • A. F. G. Dixon Department of Biodiversity Research, Global Change Research Centre AS CR, Na Sádkách 7, České Budějovice, Czech Republic School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, U.K.
  • B. Agarwala Department of Life Science, Tripura University, Agartala, Tripura, P.O. Agartala College, PIN -79904, India
  • J.-L. Hemptinne Université de Toulouse - Ecole nationale de Formation agronomique ; UMR CNRS 5174 “Evolution et Diversité biologique”, BP 22687, F-31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, France
  • A. Honěk Research Institute of Crop Production, Drnovská 507, CZ 161 06 Prague 6 – Ruzynĕ, Czech Republic
  • V. Jarošík Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University Prague, Viničná 7, CZ-128 01 Prague, Czech Republic Department of Invasion Ecology, Institute of Botany Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ-252 43 Průhonice, Czech Republic


A previous study of the rate of development of larvae of aphidophagous and coccidophagous ladybirds indicated that they both had the same lower developmental threshold (Ldt) but that the coccidophagous species developed more slowly than the aphidophagous species. The current analysis of the rates of development of the eggs of 48 species belonging to 8 tribes, which were kept at a range of different temperatures, indicates that ladybirds do not all have the same Ldt, but that the of eggs of aphidophagous Coccinellini develop faster than those of coccidophagous Chilocorini and more importantly those of the aphidophagous genus Scymnus and the coccidophagous Nephus, both belonging to the same robust tribe, the Scymnini, also differ, with those of the latter genus developing more slowly. Possible reasons for this are discussed.