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Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Arthropod Pests from the Eastern Hemisphere

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Title: Trissolcus hyalinipennis Rajmohana & Narendran (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), a parasitoid of Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), emerges in North America

item GANJISAFFAR, FATEMEH - University Of California
item TALAMAS, ELIJAH - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item BON, MARIE-CLAUDE - European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL)
item GONZALEZ, ISA - Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County
item BROWN, BRIAN - Natural History Museum Of Los Angeles County
item PERRING, THOMAS - University Of California

Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2018
Publication Date: 8/27/2018
Citation: Ganjisaffar, F., Talamas, E.J., Bon, M., Gonzalez, I., Brown, B.V., Perring, T.M. 2018. Trissolcus hyalinipennis Rajmohana & Narendran (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), a parasitoid of Bagrada hilaris (Burmeister) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), emerges in North America. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 65: 111–130. doi: 10.3897/jhr.65.25620.

Interpretive Summary: The painted bug (Bagrada hilaris) is a new exotic invasive stink bug that attacks cole crops. It was first reported in southern California in 2008 and has spread throughout the state and into Arizona and New Mexico. The pest is thought to be native to parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. A classical biological control program was started to search for natural enemies to control the pest, especially parasitoids that attack the eggs. As part of this program, field surveys were conducted in California using fresh sentinel eggs of the painted bug to determine what species of natural enemies may already be present. One of the parasitoids recovered from field looked like the species Trissolcus hyalinipennis, which is only known from the Old World. We conducted detailed morphological studies and molecular genetic analysis which confirmed this identification. This is the first report of this species in the New World, and the parasitoid was presumably accidentally introduced, possibly along with its host, the painted bug. This parasitoid is known to attack the painted bug, so it may be helping to reduce the pest population. Citizen scientists participating in the BioSCAN initiative through the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles collected additional specimens of T. hyalinipennis in malaise traps. Surveys will be continued to evaluate the establishment of T. hyalinipennis as well as the presence of other parasitoid species.

Technical Abstract: Trissolcus hyalinipennis (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) is an Old World egg parasitoid of the invasive stink bug Bagrada hilaris (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Its potential as a classical biological control agent in the United States has been under evaluation in quarantine facilities since 2014. A survey of resident egg parasitoids using fresh sentinel B. hilaris eggs in Riverside, California, revealed that this parasitoid is present in the wild. Four cards with parasitized eggs were recovered, from which one yielded a single live T. hyalinipennis and two unidentified dead wasps, and three yielded twenty live T. basalis and one dead wasp. Subsequently, samples from Burbank, California, collected with a Malaise trap as part of the BioSCAN project, yielded 5 female specimens of T. hyalinipennis. In this paper, we provide documentation of this discovery and a taxonomic and molecular means for others to distinguish T. hyalinipennis from other species of Trissolcus to facilitate additional survey work.