Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Host kairomones influence searching behavior of Trissolcus japonicus (Hymenoptera: scelionidae), a parasitoid of Halyomorpha halys (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae).

Abstract

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is a highly polyphagous species native to Asia that has become a serious invasive agricultural and nuisance pest across North America and Europe. Classical biological control host range evaluations have revealed egg parasitoid Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) to be the primary candidate biocontrol agent for field release against H. halys. However, these evaluations only provide us with the physiological host range of T. japonicus. Other Trissolcus species have demonstrated that contact kairomones from different host species elicit varied responses in the parasitoids' host foraging behaviors. To assess T. japonicus response to host kairomones, mated naive females were exposed to leaf surfaces contaminated with adult kairomones from its preferred host, H. halys, or from a native nontarget host, Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Red maple, apple, and soybean were used as plant substrate treatments. The wasp's residence time on the leaf surface, linear walking velocity, and angular walking velocity were observed and measured using Noldus EthoVision XT tracking software. Within each leaf treatment, T. japonicus displayed stronger behavioral responses on leaves contaminated with contact kairomones from H. halys. The parasitoid resided on H. halys contaminated leaves for approximately twice as a long as it did on P. maculiventris contaminated leaves. Further, both species' kairomones elicited significant decreases in parasitoid walking velocity on all tested substrate types. Overall, our study suggests that kairomone-based behavioral studies can be used to further evaluate the host specificity of T. japonicus and can be an invaluable supplement to classical biocontrol host range testing regimes.