Coupling traditional monitoring and citizen science to disentangle the invasion of Halyomorpha halys.
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive pest that has expanded its range outside of its original confinements in Eastern Asia, spreading through the United States, Canada and most of the European and Eurasian countries. The invasiveness of this agricultural and public nuisance pest is facilitated by the availability of an array of suitable hosts, an r-selected life history and the release from natural enemies in the invaded zones. Traditional monitoring methods are usually impeded by the lack of time and resources to sufficiently cover large geographical ranges. Therefore, the citizen science initiative "BugMap" was conceived to complement and assist researchers in breaking down the behavior of this invasive pest via a user-friendly, freely available mobile application. The collected data were employed to forecast its predicted distribution and to identify the areas at risk in Trentino, Northern Italy. Moreover, they permitted the uncovering of the seasonal invasion dynamics of this insect, besides providing insight into its phenological patterns, life cycle and potential management methods. Hence, the outcomes of this work emphasize the need to further integrate citizens in scientific endeavors to resolve ecological complications and reduce the gap between the public and science.