Laboratory assessment of feeding injury and preference of brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), for Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa 'Hayward' (Zespri® Green) and Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis 'Zesy002' (Zespri® SunGold).
The brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys Stål (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is native to Asia and is characterised by its polyphagous feeding habits and high hitchhiking potential. In invaded areas, such as the eastern USA, economic damage to agricultural crops by BMSB has been significant. In northern Italy, where BMSB is invasive, feeding damage has been recorded in commercial kiwifruit orchards. In New Zealand, a major kiwifruit producer, BMSB originating from the USA, Italy and China (the native range of kiwifruit) have been intercepted. These BMSB interceptions pose a high biosecurity risk to key agricultural industries in New Zealand, including kiwifruit. However, information on the ability of BMSB to feed on key commercial kiwifruit varieties, and the types of damage it may cause to this crop, is lacking. To address this issue, Actinidia chinensis var. 'SunGold' (G3) and Actinidia deliciosa var. 'Green' (Hayward), were exposed to adult BMSB under nochoice and choice feeding trials. Across kiwifruit cultivars (i.e. Green and SunGold) and experimental setups (i.e. choice and no-choice), mixed adult groups (i.e. males and females feeding together) caused significantly more damage than individual females and males. After accounting for adult density, there was no experimental evidence that BMSB exhibited a feeding preference for either SunGold or Green varieties. However, there were variety differences for the development of BMSB feeding injury, with lower incidence of damage recorded for SunGold.