Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Native Predators May Be Having a Larger Impact than Expected on Invasive Stink Bug

Entomology Today. March 25, 2016 issue. 
By Dr. Rob Morrison, USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, WV. 

Research recently appearing in the journal Biological Control may change how we view native predators of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). BMSB is an invasive species that was accidentally introduced to the United States from Asia in Pennsylvania, and has since been detected in more than 40 U.S. states. It feeds on more than 150 plant species, making it a large threat to many agricultural systems in the country.

Researchers with the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station and Shepherd University evaluated 25 native generalist natural enemy species collected from the field as potential predators of BMSB egg masses in the laboratory. 

To better evaluate and characterize damage inflicted by the various predators, the researchers photographed egg masses before and after predator exposure with the aim of linking egg damage to specific groups or guilds of predators.

Predators were also observed using videography, and some interesting behaviors emerged.  Bottom line, results suggest that native predators may not be getting as much credit as they deserve in the biological control of BMSB.