Technical Comments

Comment on “Invasive Harlequin Ladybird Carries Biological Weapons Against Native Competitors”

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Science  20 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6152, pp. 1342
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241827

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Vilcinskas et al. (Reports, 17 May 2013, p. 862) proposed that infectious microsporidia of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis act against intraguild predators, rather than ladybird alkaloid defenses. However, as both microsporidia and the harmonine defense alkaloid were administered to predators by microinjection rather than into the gut, such a conclusion is premature. Alkaloids also provide defense when predation occurs, whereas microsporidia act much later.

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