SLU news

Aphids shun the scent of ladybugs

Published: 04 July 2013

Aphids can sense where ladybugs have been. A new study from SLU shows that aphids avoid establishing themselves on plants where their archenemy the ladybug has been.

Aphids are major pests in cereals. They are also prey for many predators and have developed the ability to escape and avoid being eaten.

It has previously been shown that aphids can emit alarm substances, making other aphids to escape. In the latest study from SLU, researchers conclude that they also avoid plants that enemies have been on. In this case, the enemy was the common seven-spot ladybird.