Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Occurrence, ecology and potential impact of the New Zealand wheat bug Nysius huttoni White (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) in Belgium.

Abstract

In 2002 the New Zealand wheat bug Nysius huttoni White was observed for the first time in the Netherlands and Belgium. The introduction of N. huttoni to these regions presumably occurred via overseas transport of apple and kiwi fruits from New Zealand. Laboratory experiments showed that both eggs and adults of N. huttoni were capable of surviving cold conditions similar to those in overseas transportation. Specimens were sampled in Belgium and the Netherlands, and a DNA sequence analysis indicated a 100% similarity with N. huttoni material collected in Christchurch, New Zealand. The distribution of the lygaeid in Belgium in 2008 was studied based on a systematic sampling at 105 locations. The bug had been able to spread over most of the Belgian territory, with the exception of the most southern and eastern provinces. Given the poor flight capacity of Belgian N. huttoni populations, other methods of dispersal may be involved. N. huttoni occurred primarily in ruderal habitats, and its weedy host plants belong to very common plant families. Several observations support N. huttoni not being a threat for agricultural crops in Belgium under the present conditions of climate and soil usage.