Submitted to: Denisia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Aldrich, J.R., Khrimian, A., Zhang, A., Shearer, P. 2006. Bug pheromones (hemiptera: heteroptera) and tachinid fly host-finding. Denisia. 19:1015-1031.
Interpretive Summary: A group of insects known as “stink bugs” are frequently difficult to control pests because they can migrate into crops and inflict serious damage before being detected. Stink bugs produce chemical signals that attract one another (called pheromones), and certain stink bug parasites actually home in on the pheromones to find bugs. In 2001 a foreign stink bug (known as the brown marmorated stink bug) was found established in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This invasive stink bug species is quickly spreading, and is likely to become an important crop pest and nuisance in buildings where it seeks shelter in the fall. We studied stink bug-parasite relationships in order to determine which, if any, native parasites are likely to shift their attack to the brown marmorated stink bug. It was discovered that one kind of native fly has already shifted to this invasive bug and, in the course of the research on these parasitic flies, it has been learned that one or more native stink bugs must produce pheromones containing chemicals like the ones to which the brown marmorated stink bug responds. This information will be useful to scientists and pest managers specifically interested in controlling the brown marmorated stink bug, and those working on the invasive species problem in general.
Technical Abstract: Data and observations on wild tachinid flies that were attracted to traps baited with known or suspected pheromones for the following stink bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) are reported: Podisus maculiventris (Say), Euschistus tristigmus (Say), Thyanta accerra custator McAtee, Acrosternum hilare (Say), and Halyomorpha halys (Stål). Halyomorpha halys, called the brown marmorated stink bug, is a newly invasive species in the eastern U. S., while the other stink bugs listed are native North American species. The following known tachinid parasitoids of stink bugs were captured: Euclytia flava (Townsend) (Phasiinae), Gymnosoma par (Walker) (Phasiinae), Euthera tentatrix Loew (Dexiinae), Hemyda aurata Robineau-Desvoidy (Phasiinae), Cylindromyia fumipennis (Bigot) (Phasiinae), and Trichopoda pennipes (F.) (Phasiinae). Tachinids in the subfamily Phasiinae commonly exploit pheromones to guide their search for potential hosts. The findings of the current study bolster this conclusion, and provide clues to pheromones and host/parasitoid relationships yet to be discovered.