University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

John ObryckiJohn J. Obrycki


Ph.D. Cornell University (1982)


Department of Entomology
S-225 Agricultural Science Center N
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Ph: 859.257.7450
Fax: 859.323.1120

Research Interests

My specific research interests include the biology, predatory behavior, and population ecology of insect predators, focusing on the Coccinellidae and the role of natural enemies in sustainable alfalfa production systems. A weakness of many pest management models is a trivial representation of predation. Fundamental knowledge is required to understand how insect predators subsist in crops, how they influence prey dynamics, and how changes in cropping practices influence predator populations. The goal of my investigations is to provide the basis for the development of sustainable pest management systems.


The asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridislady beetle larva
The asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, adults (left)
and pink lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata, larva (right)


Current Graduate Students


Former Graduate Students


Curriculum vitae (PDF)


Selected Recent Publications

Ecological Assessment of Transgenic Organisms

  • Peterson, J.A., J.J. Obrycki, & J.D. Harwood. 2013. Bacillus thuringiensis : Transgenic Crops: pp. 329-342 In Encyclopedia of Environmental Management Vol I. S.E. Jorgensen (Ed). Taylor & Francis, New York.
  • Peterson, J.A., J.J. Obrycki, & J.D. Harwood. 2009. Quantification of Bt-endotoxin exposure pathways in carabid food webs across multiple transgenic events. Biocontrol Science & Tech. 19: 613-625.
  • Moser, S., J. D. Harwood, & J.J. Obrycki 2008. Larval feeding on Bt hybrid and non-Bt corn seedlings by Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera : Coccinellidae) and Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera : Coccinellidae). Environmental Entomology 37:525-533.
  • Harwood, J.D. & J.J. Obrycki. 2007. Temporal detection of Cry1Ab-endotoxins in coccinellid predators from fields of Bacillus thuringiensis corn. Bull. Entomol.Research 97: 643-648.
  • Harwood, J.D. & J.J. Obrycki. 2006. The detection and decay of Cry1Ab Bt- endotoxins within non-target slugs, Deroceras reticulatum (Muller) (Mollusca: Pulmonata), following consumption of transgenic corn. Biocontrol Sci. & Tech. 16:77-88
  • Nusawardani, T., J.R. Ruberson, J.J. Obrycki, & B.C. Bonning. 2005. Effects of a protease-expressing recombinant baculovirus insecticide on the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson). Biological Control 35:46-54.
  • Pilcher, C.D., M.E. Rice, & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Impact of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn and crop phenology on five nontarget arthropods. Environ. Entomol. 34: 1302-1316.
  • Harwood, J.D. , W. Wallin, & J.J. Obrycki. 2005. Uptake of Bt-endotoxins by non-target herbivores and higher order arthropod predators: molecular evidence from a transgenic corn agroecosystem. Molec. Ecology 14: 2815-2823.


Predatory Insects /  Coccinellidae / Biological Control

  • Sethuraman, A, F. J. Janzen, & J.J. Obrycki. 2015. Population genetics of the predatory lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens. Biological Control 84: 1-10.
  • Obrycki, J.J., M.J. Tauber, & C.A. Tauber. 2015. Thermal requirements for Development of predatory insects: Contributions of Alois Honek,including data on three Nearctic species. Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae (accepted).
  • Kajita, Y., J.J. Obrycki, J.J. Sloggett, E.W.Evans, & K.F. Haynes. 2014. Defensive Chemicals and Interspecific Interactions among Introduced and Native Congeneric Ladybird Beetles. J. Chemical Ecology 40:1212-1219.
  • Rondoni, G., K.J. Athey, J.D. Harwood, C. Ricci, & J.J. Obrycki. 2014. Development and application of molecular gut-content analysis to detect aphid and coccinellid predation by Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera; Coccinellidae) in Italy. Insect Science DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.12165.
  • Jesse, L., M. Collyer, K. Moloney, & J.J. Obrycki. 2013. Distribution of Megastigmus aculeatus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) and levels of seed predation of Rosa multiflora (Rosaceae) in Iowa. Weed Biology and Management 13: 79-88.
  • Kajita, Y., E.M. O’Neill, Y. Zheng, J.J. Obrycki, & D.M. Weisrock. 2012. A population genetic signature of human releases in an invasive ladybeetle. Molecular Ecology 21: 5473-5483.
  • Bessin, R. & J.J. Obrycki. May 2011. An IPM Scouting Guide for Natural Enemies of Vegetable Pests in Kentucky. ENT-67. 23 pp. May 2011.
  • Seagraves, M.P., Kajita, Y.J., Weber, D.C., John J. Obrycki, J.J. & Lundgren, J.G. 2011. Sugar feeding by coccinellids under field conditions: the effects of sugar sprays in soybean. BioControl 56:305-314.
  • Moser, S.E., Y. Kajita, J.D. Harwood, & J.J. Obrycki. 2011. Evidence for utilization of Diptera in the diet of field-collected coccinellid larvae from an antibody-based detection system. Biological Control 58: 248-254.
  • Eskelson, M.J., E.G. Chapman, D.D. Archbold, J.J. Obrycki, & J.D. Harwood. 2011. Molecular identification of the biological control potential of carabid beetles on exotic and native slugs in a strawberry agroecosystems. Biological Control 56: 245-253.
  • Sloggett, J.J., K.F. Haynes, J.J. Obrycki & A.J. Davis. 2010. Harmonia axyridis as a model for predator adaptation to chemically defended prey. IOBC/WRPS Bulletin “Benefits and risks of exotic biological control agents”. Eds, H.E. Roy & D. Babendreier. Engelberg, Switzerland, September 6-10, 2009.
  • Jesse, L.C., J. Nason, J.J. Obrycki & K. Moloney. 2010. Quantifying the levels of sexual reproduction and clonal spread in the invasive plant, Rosa multiflora. Biological Invasions 12: 1847-1854.
  • Kajita, Y., J.J. Obrycki, J.J. Sloggett, & K.F. Haynes. 2010. Interspecific alkaloid variation in ladybird eggs and its effects on con- and hetero-specific intraguild predators. Oecologia 163: 313-322.
  • Moser, S.E., K.F. Haynes & J.J. Obrycki. 2010. Behavioral responses to larval tracks and the influence of larval tracks on intraguild predation by coccinellid larvae J. Insect Behavior 23:45-58.
  • Weiser-Erlandson, L.A. & J.J. Obrycki. 2010. Predation of immature and adult Empoasca fabae (Harris) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) by three species of predatory insects. J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 83: 1-6.


John Obrycki


Revised: Sept 15, 2011
Return to UK Department of Entomology homepage