(The Japan News) — An agricultural research center in western Japan has developed and commercialized a ladybug as a biopesticide.
The development by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization’s Western Region Agricultural Research Center, based in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, arose from the need to destroy aphids in plastic greenhouses. Ladybugs are a natural enemy of aphids. The new ladybug has wings but does not fly.
The research center was able to create the nonflying ladybug by repeated selection and breeding of ladybug species Harmonia axyridis over about 30 generations. The insects used in the experiment had progressively less ability to fly.
A company in the eastern prefecture of Ibaraki began selling the new ladybug in June under the Ten-Top brand, registering it as an indoor-only biopesticide.
The new ladybug has been able to reduce pest damage to komatsuna Japanese mustard spinach by more than 90 percent.