Surveying native egg parasitoids and predators of the invasive Halyomorpha halys in Northern Italy.
The invasive Halyomorpha halys (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) is a key pest of fruits in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. For the development of a sustainable management programme, knowledge of its native natural enemy community and its efficacy is essential. A three-year field survey was conducted exposing H. halys egg masses in different types of habitats to investigate the efficacy of native natural enemies in reducing the H. halys populations in the Emilia-Romagna region, where the stinkbug was first detected in 2012. Over the first year of the study, sentinel eggs from laboratory cultures were stapled to the underside of leaves in various host trees, whereas in following years H. halys adults were directly caged on branches in sleeve cages to allow natural oviposition. Over the examined years, low rates of parasitism (1%-3%) and predation (2%-5%) were observed. Parasitism was caused exclusively by the generalist parasitoid Anastatus bifasciatus.