Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Field collection of egg parasitoids of Pentatomidae and Scutelleridae in northwest Italy and their efficacy in parasitizing Halyomorpha halys under laboratory conditions.

Abstract

The invasion of Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) has caused severe economic damage in crops in North America and Europe, motivating research to identify its natural enemies, both in native and invaded areas. In its Asian native range, the main natural enemies are egg parasitoids, among which the most effective are Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) and Trissolcus mitsukurii (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) in China and Japan, respectively. In Europe, biology, host range, and impact of most native scelionid species are not well-known. The present study aimed to investigate (1) presence and abundance of scelionid species that parasitize native Pentatomidae and Scutelleridae eggs in Northwest Italy, and (2) their ability to develop on H. halys eggs. During 4-year field surveys, egg masses were collected and reared until bug nymph or adult parasitoid emergence. Then, the obtained scelionid females were tested for their ability to parasitize H. halys eggs in laboratory no-choice experiments. Egg masses of all collected bug species were parasitized, and Telenomus spp. (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), Trissolcus belenus (Walker), and Anastatus bifasciatus (Geoffroy) (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae) were the most common parasitoids. In the laboratory, Trissolcus kozlovi Rjachovskij was the only species to significantly produce offspring from fresh H. halys eggs, whereas all tested Trissolcus species significantly induced host egg abortion (non-reproductive effects). This study provides knowledge of the parasitoid species associated with native bugs, and represents a starting point to investigate the intricate interactions between native and exotic parasitoids recently found in northern Italy. These egg parasitoids could potentially be effective biocontrol agents of H. halys.