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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 #326333

Research Project: Integrated Orchard Management and Automation for Deciduous Tree Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: Predation of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) from web-building spiders associated with anthropogenic dwellings

Author
item Morrison Iii, William - Rob
item Bryant, Alexandria - Breckinridge County Cooperative Extension
item Poling, Brittany - Shepherd University
item Quinn, Nicole - Virginia Tech
item Leskey, Tracy

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2017
Publication Date: 1/23/2017
Citation: Morrison III, W.R., Bryant, A.N., Poling, B., Quinn, N.F., Leskey, T.C. 2017. Predation of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) from web-building spiders associated with anthropogenic dwellings. Journal of Insect Behavior. 30:70-85.

Interpretive Summary: The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest from Asia that causes significant harm to agriculture as well as nuisance issues for homeowners in the US. Much work has looked at the predators and parasitoids that eat BMSB in US agriculture, but very little research has looked at what eats BMSB at overwintering sites, such as people’s homes. The aims of the current study were to look at the ability of the spider community in human-made buildings to capture and eat BMSB. The study found seven spider families inside human buildings in West Virginia and Maryland. However, only three of these families captured BMSB adults with great frequency, and these included cob web, cellar, and funnel spiders. Natural predation of BMSB ranged from 13-20% indoors and outside in the yard around buildings. Our results suggest that spiders may be an important contributing factor in the removal of BMSB from the overwintering population of stink bugs in people’s homes.

Technical Abstract: The brown marmorated stink bug or Halyomorpha halys is an invasive pest from Asia that causes severe agricultural damage and nuisance problems for homeowners. While the natural enemy community of H. halys has been evaluated in several agroecosystems, it has not been quantified where H. halys overwinters. The aims of the current study were to evaluate the propensity of a web-building spider community at anthropogenic overwintering sites to ensnare and consume H. halys, and understand common behaviors exhibited by spiders after addition of H. halys to webs, including how feeding by spiders is affected by a variety of factors such as web architecture and location of web. To achieve these goals, adult H. halys were introduced into webs at and near anthropogenic structures in West Virginia and Maryland, and the behavior of spiders was observed at various intervals afterwards for 5-min periods. In addition, a survey of webs was performed to determine the frequency with which spiders naturally capture H. halys inside buildings and in the landscape. Overall, the study found seven spider families in anthropogenic structures. Adult H. halys that were introduced into the webs of Theridiidae, Pholcidae, or Agelenidae had a greater than 50% chance of being ensnared and consumed. The same three families fed on H. halys for the longest period of time during the observation period. Webs with a funnel or cob web architecture had the greatest probability of ensnaring H. halys, while those with orb structure resulted in the fewest caught. Natural predation of H. halys by spiders ranged from 13-20%. Our results suggest that spiders may be an important contributing factor for mortality of H. halys at overwintering sites, and spiders in or outside homes may help reduce nuisance problems caused by H. halys.