Host plant effects on Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) nymphal development and survivorship.
Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is a highly polyphagous invasive species and an important pest of orchard crops in the United States. In the Mid-Atlantic region, wild hosts of H. halys are common in woodlands that often border orchards, and H. halys movement from them into orchards poses ongoing management issues. To improve our understanding of host plant effects on H. halys populations at the orchard-woodland interface, nymphal survivorship, developmental duration, and adult fitness (size and fresh weight) on apple (Malus domestica Borkh.), peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch), Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle), and northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa (Warder)) were examined in laboratory studies. Specifically, we investigated nymphal performance on the foliage and fruiting structures of those hosts and on single- versus mixed-host diets, as well as the effects of host phenology on their suitability. Nymphal performance was poor on a diet of foliage alone, regardless of host. When fruiting structures were combined with foliage, peach was highly suitable for nymphal development and survivorship, whereas apple, Tree of Heaven, and catalpa were less so, although nymphal survival on Tree of Heaven was much greater later in the season than earlier. Mixed-host diets yielded increased nymphal survivorship and decreased developmental duration compared with diets of suboptimal single hosts. Adult size and weight were generally greater when they developed from nymphs reared on mixed diets. The implications of our results to the dispersal behavior, establishment, and management of H. halys are discussed.