Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) winter survival, feeding activity, and reproduction rates based on episodic cold shock and winter temperature regimes.
Globally distributed nonnative insects thrive by having a generalist diet and persisting across large latitudinal gradients. Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is a cold-tolerant invasive species that enters reproductive diapause in temperate North American and European climates. While it can survive the acute effects of subzero (°C) temperatures, it is poorly understood how exposure to infrequent cold temperatures affects postdiapause survival and behavior. We studied the impacts of episodic cold shock at temperatures of -6 to -2 (°C) at the onset of H. halys diapause, followed by an extended overwintering period. These conditions simulated three distinct climates, with above-freezing, near-freezing, and below-freezing daily low temperatures, to explore a range of possible effects on H. halys. We measured mortality regularly and evaluated postdiapause feeding damage and fecundity in each treatment. Postdiapause survival rates ranged from 40 to 50% in all treatments, except for -6°C. At this temperature, fewer than 25% H. halys survived. Feeding damage was greatest in the warmest simulated climate. The highest number of egg masses was laid under subfreezing episodic cold shock conditions. The controlled diapause simulations suggest that brief exposure to cold temperatures as low as -4°C does not have immediate or long-term effects on H. halys mortality. Exposure to cold temperatures may, however, increase postdiapause fecundity. These data provide insight into the impacts of cold exposure on postdiapause survival, reproduction, and feeding and can help predict H. halys-related crop risk based on preceding winter conditions.