We have a new publication in the most traditional biological journal in the world (Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences), which has been published regularly since 1832.
In our study (https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2538) we show that the invasive harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) has quite effective natural enemies. The parasitic fungus Hesperomyces virescens (yellow thalli in the photo by André De Kesel) reduces the survival of ladybirds during overwintering.
Interestingly, none of the pre-winter haemolymph parameters were good predictors of ladybird winter survival. Overall, our results indicate that energy exhaustion unrelated to immune system challenge is the most probable explanation for increased overwintering mortality in infected ladybirds… But the interesting story doesn't end here. In our next study (you can look forward to it) we will show how this fungal infection affects the sexual behaviour and preference of ladybirds.