Start Date: May 25, 2005
End Date: May 24, 2010
For objective (1) introduce and establish the nymphal parasitoids Peristenus howardi, P. stygicus and / or southern European populations of P. digoneutis to control the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, in the mid-Atlantic and south-Atlantic states, and P. rubricollis to control the alfalfa plant bug, Adelphocoris lineolatus, in the northeastern U.S.; develop a PCR-based assay for the European parasitoid Peristenus rubricollis; and assist cooperators in evaluating the biological control of the tarnished plant bug by the previously introduced parasitoid, P. digoneutis, on apples and strawberries in New York and / or New England. For objective (2) collect baseline data on aphid abundance in soybeans and on buckthorns (overwintering hosts) in Delaware and nearby areas, and evaluate the occurrence and impact of resident natural enemies on these hosts; conduct foreign exploration in Asia for natural enemies of the pest in soybean and on buckthorn; screen selected candidates for biocontrol introductions, based on host specificity and climatic tolerances; make inoculative releases in the Mid-Atlantic states of the most promising soybean aphid natural enemies from Asia approved for release, evaluate impact on target and non-target species; and make exotic natural enemies available to cooperators in other regions of the U.S. for eventual release in those areas. For objective (3) evaluate available information on BMSB in U.S. and Asia, obtain translations of key Asian literature and distribution information from researchers; collect specimens of BMSB in the U.S. and Asia for collaborative genetic matching studies and conduct climatic matching analyses to determine the priority areas to search for adapted natural enemies; collect baseline data on the distribution and pest status of BMSB in the U.S. and determine the identity and impact of resident natural enemies in the region; initiate foreign exploration for natural enemies and add to existing baseline data on the distribution and the pest status of the stinkbug and the identity of natural enemies in Asia; and conduct host range studies on promising candidate species obtained by foreign exploration.