Location: Systematic Entomology LaboratoryTitle: Team Trissolcus: Integrating taxonomy and biological control to combat the brown marmorated stink bug
Submitted to: American Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2018
Publication Date: 12/12/2018
Citation: Buffington, M.L., Talamas, E., Hoelmer, K.A. 2018. Team Trissolcus: Integrating taxonomy and biological control to combat the brown marmorated stink bug. American Entomologist. 64:224-232.
Interpretive Summary: The identification of species (taxonomy) and understanding the role they play in the environment (ecology) depend on each other for data and research goals. We see biological control as a special case of ecology, focused on controlling species that damage crops. In this paper we explaing how the biological control community worked together with taxonomists, and vice versa, to understand samurai wasps and the role they play in control brown marmorated stink bug. Taxonomists, biological control researchers, ecologists, and university researchers will find our perspectives fresh and novel, and they will use our examples to improve the relationship between what appear to be disparate fields in entomology.
Technical Abstract: Invasive species, and their impacts on natural and agricultural resources, are a growing, multi-billion dollar problem worldwide. For insect species, this is particularly true, as many are small and hard to detect, can hitchhike on rapid modes of transportation which facilitates survival, and some have the potential to reproduce quickly when accidentally introduced into new areas which assists establishment. Responding to these invaders is a three-fold endeavor, involving detection or interception (port identifiers, surveys), accurate and fast identification (taxonomy), as well as thorough ecological investigations in native ranges and associated natural enemy complexes (i.e., biological control agents). We use a current project of investigating natural enemies of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halymorpha halys (Stål), as an example of how taxonomy and biological control projects are mutually informative, stimulating joint research, and shortening the time lag between field observation, published data, and using that data for management decisions. We make the case that taxonomic preparedness is critical to this success.