Establishment in an introduced range: dispersal capacity and winter survival of Trissolcus japonicus, an adventive egg parasitoid.
The herbivorous brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, has spread globally, and one of its key parasitoids, Trissolcus japonicus, has recently been detected in the pest's introduced range. For an exotic natural enemy to impact its targeted host in a novel environment, it must disperse, locate hosts, and potentially be redistributed to susceptible sites. Through intentionally releasing T. japonicus across four Oregon eco-regions, we investigated an introduced parasitoid's dispersal capacity in urban sites and in two perennial crops, hazelnut and raspberry. In a second paired field and laboratory study, we investigated T. japonicus survival in different plant materials. Within three days of release, adult T. japonicus located host egg masses at 45% of sites and, one year later, were detected at 40% of release sites. Areas where released wasps survived winter were mostly urban or semi-natural. In commercial crop release experiments, we recovered the highest percentage of wasps in raspberry within 5 m of the release site but found no statistical difference in dispersal distance with some wasps dispersing up to 50 m. Adult parasitoids survived up to 16 weeks outdoors in the winter, with greater survival over time in bark compared to leaf litter. Wasp survival remained above 50% over the course of a simulated winter environment without precipitation. Our work affirms the continuation of H. halys parasitism by T. japonicus in novel environments and provides insight into the high population sizes necessary to survive winter and locate host egg masses the following season.