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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313074

Title: Flight behavior of foraging and overwintering brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)

item LEE, DOO-HYUNG - Gachon University
item Leskey, Tracy

Submitted to: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Lee, D., Leskey, T.C. 2015. Flight behavior of foraging and overwintering brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research. doi: 10.1017/S0007485315000462.

Interpretive Summary: The brown mamorated stink bug (BMSB) is a highly destructive invasive species accidently introduced into the United States sometime between the middle to late 1990s. Feeding by this insect has led to millions of dollars in losses for specialty and row crop growers. In order to establish the dispersal capacity of this pest across the landscape, researchers used laboratory-based flight mills to measure the distance traveled by actively foraging and inactive overwintering adults. We found that despite differences in behavioral and physiological state, adults flew over 2 km in most cases in less than 24 hours. Some flew as much as 117 km. In addition, adult only took flight when wind speed was low (less than .75 m/s) and temperatures were at least 20 degrees celsius. In the field, the prevailing flight direction of adults was opposite the sun’s position. Collectively, this data demonstrate that adult BMSB can travel great distances easily and potentially attack multiple crops across the landscape with great ease. In addition, conditions favorable (warm with little wind) or unfavorable (cool and windy) may be useful to pest management specialists developing effective recommendations for management of BMSB in crops.

Technical Abstract: Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stal), is a highly polyphagous invasive species attacking both cultivated and wild plants. This increases its threat to ecosystems as a global pest. However, dispersal biology of this invasive species is not well understood. This study evaluated the flight capacity and behavior of H. halys under laboratory, semi-field and field conditions. Flight mills were used to measure the baseline flight capacity of adults collected year round from the field and included both foraging and overwintering populations. The mean flight distances over a 22-h period were 2,442 and 2,083 m for male and female, respectively. Most individuals (89 percent) flew less than 5 km, though some flew much further with a maximum flight distance observed of 117 km. Flight distances by H. halys increased after emergence from overwintering sites in spring and reached their highest point in June. In semi-field and field trials, the effects of abiotic conditions such as wind speed and temperatures on the free flight parameters of H. halys were evaluated. The likelihood of take-off by H. halys was significantly affected by the wind speed. When provided with still air conditions, 83 percent of individuals took off, but the rates decreased to less than 10 percent when wind speed was increased to or above 0.75 m/s. The likelihood of making sustained flight was significantly affected by ambient temperature and light intensity in the field, whereas relative humidity and insect sex did not. Temperature was the most significant factor. When the temperature was at 10-15 degrees C, 3 percent of individuals took off, but the proportion of H. halys taking flight increased to 61, 84, and 87 percent at 15-20, 20-25, and 25-30 degrees celsius, respectively. In the field, prevailing flight direction was biased toward the opposite direction of the sun’s position, especially in the morning. The implications of H. halys flight biology are discussed in the context of developing monitoring and management programs for this invasive species.