Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Influence of starvation on walking behavior of Bagrada hilaris (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

Abstract

Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is an invasive stink bug species that feeds on cruciferous plants and can cause substantial damage to crops. Little is known about the dispersal behavior of B. hilaris, but movement is important because of the way this pest moves from senescing weed hosts into crop fields. Perhaps, B. hilaris residing on declining weed hosts become starved, which alters their normal locomotor activity and initiates dispersal. We examined the influence of starvation on the locomotor behavior of multiple life stages of B. hilaris under laboratory and outdoor conditions. We starved nymph (2nd/3rd and 4th/5th instars) and adult (female and male) stages for 0, 24, and 48 h. We measured distance moved in the laboratory and then distance moved and turning ratio outdoors. In the laboratory, the younger nymphs moved shortest distances when starved for 24 h, whereas late-instar nymphs (4th-5th instars) and adult B. hilaris that were starved moved farther than non-starved individuals. In the outdoor setting, environmental conditions, specifically surface temperature were important in determining how starvation affected distance moved. Starved insects were more responsive (moved farther) for a given change in temperature than non-starved insects. At lower temperatures, B. hilaris tended to move farther when non-starved and at higher temperatures, moved longer distances when starved, at least for certain stages. Increased starvation also led to more directional movement. Our results indicate that starvation influences aspects of movement for B. hilaris and that these effects can be influenced by temperature.