John J. Obrycki

John J. Obrycki

John Obrycki

John J. Obrycki

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Faculty

Last Revised: Nov 20th, 2023

Professional Biography

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.

Obrycki Mosaic

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

Selected Recent Publications

Ecological Assessment of Transgenic Organisms

  • Peterson, J.A., J.J. Obrycki, & J.D. Harwood. 2016. Spiders from multiple functional guilds are exposed to Bt-endotoxins in transgenic corn fields via prey and pollen consumption. Biocontrol Sci. & Tech. (publ. on-line) DOI:10.1080/09583157.2016.1193591.
  • 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.

Predatory Insects / Coccinellidae / Biological Control

  • Mercer, N.H., R.T. Bessin, and J.J. Obrycki. 2020. Impact of buckwheat and methyl salicylate lures on natural enemy abundance for early season management of Melanaphis sacchari (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in sweet sorghum. Crop Protection
  • Mercer, N.H., R.T. Bessin, and J.J. Obrycki. 2020. Parasitization of the sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari, by commercially available aphid parasitoids. BioControl
  • Obrycki, J.J. 2020. Comparative Studies of Reproductive Diapause in North American Populations of Three Hippodamia Species (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environ. Entomol. 49(5): 1164–1170. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvaa100
  • Li, H., Qu, W., Obrycki, J.J., Meng, L., Chu, D., Zhou, X., & Li, B. 2020. Optimizing sample size for genomic study of Harmonia axyridis populations from native and novel ranges. Insects 11(5), 290;
  • Mercer, N.H., N.M. Teets, R. T. Bessin, & J. J. Obrycki. 2020. Supplemental foods affect energetic reserves, survival, and spring reproduction in overwintering adult Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environ. Entomol. 49:1-9.
  • Vansant, H., Y.M. Vasquez, J.J. Obrycki, A. Sethuraman, 2019. Coccinellid host morphology dictates morphological diversity of the parasitoid wasp Dinocampuscoccinellae. Biological Control (
  • Obrycki, J.J., J.S. McCord, N.H. Mercer, & J.A. White. 2018. Photoperiodic induction of adult diapause in North American populations of the lady beetle Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environ. Entomol. DOI:10.1093/ee/nvy128.
  • Obrycki, J.J. 2018. Reproductive diapause in North American populations of the introduced lady beetle Hippodamia variegata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environ. Entomol. DOI:10.1093/ee/nvy118.
  • Nechols, J.R., J.J. Obrycki, J.R. Ruberson, L. R. Milbrath, G.S. Albuquerque, Y.-F. Chang, & J. Lopez-Arroyo. 2017. Integrating science with practice: A tribute to the life and work of Maurice J. Tauber. Amer. Entomol. 63(4) 251-258.
  • Sethuraman, A, F. J. Janzen, M.A. Rubio, Y. Vasquez, & J.J. Obrycki. 2017. Demographic histories of 3 predatory lady beetles reveal complex patterns of diversity and population size change in the United States. Insect Science DOI:10.1111/1744-7917.12481.
  • Weiser-Erlandson, L.A., M.E. Rice & J.J. Obrycki. 2016. Early spring occurrence of Empoasca spp. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) in and adjacent to alfalfa fields in Iowa. J. Entomol. Science 51: 238-249.
  • 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 Honěk, including data on three Nearctic species. Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae 79: 103-109.
  • Rondoni, G.,K.J. Athey, J.D. Harwood, C. Ricci, & J.J. Obrycki. 2015. Development and application of molecular gut-content analysis to detect aphid and coccinellid predation by Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera; Coccinellidae) in Italy. Insect Science 22: 719–730. DOI:10.1111/1744-7917.12165.

Review Articles

  • Sethuraman, A. , F.J. Janzen, D.W. Weisrock, and J.J. Obrycki. 2020. Insights from Population Genomics to Enhance and Sustain Biological Control of Insect Pests. Insects 11(8), 462;
  • Li, H., B. Li, G. Lovei, T.J. Kring, and J.J. Obrycki. Interactions among Native and Non-native Predatory Coccinellidae Influence Biological Control and Biodiversity. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. (Accepted)
  • Obrycki, J. J. and T. J. Kring. 1998. Predaceous Coccinellidae in Biological Control. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 43: 295–321.


Ph.D. Cornell University (1982)

John Obrycki

Contact Information

S-225 Ag Science Center Lexington, KY 40546-0091

(859) 257-7450