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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 #381326

Research Project: Integrated Production and Automation Systems for Temperate Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: Behavioural responses of diapausing Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to conspecific volatile organic compounds

item NIXON, LAURA - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Morrison, William - Rob
item RICE, KEVIN - University Of Missouri
item GOLDSON, STEPHEN - Lincoln University - New Zealand
item Khrimian, Ashot
item ROSTAS, MICHAEL - Lincoln University - New Zealand
item Leskey, Tracy

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2021
Publication Date: 11/29/2021
Citation: Nixon, L., Morrison III, W.R., Rice, K.B., Goldson, S., Brockerhoff, E.G., Khrimian, A., Rostas, M., Leskey, T.C. 2021. Behavioural responses of diapausing Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to conspecific volatile organic compounds. Journal of Applied Entomology. 146:319-327.

Interpretive Summary: The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect originating in Asia that has established in North America, South America, and Europe, causing serious economic losses to crops and nuisance problems for residents. This insect releases a strong odor when it is agitated or threatened. We established that overwintering BMSB respond to exposure to these defensive odor components by immediately moving further and faster, and releasing their own defensive compounds. These findings confirm that the odor released can be classified as an alarm pheromone, which insects release to deter predators and warn other members of their own species of danger.

Technical Abstract: The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive pest that has established populations in North America, South America and Europe, and caused serious economic losses to crops and nuisance problems for homeowners and businesses during overwintering. Here, we explored aspects of diapausing H. halys behavior relative to release and perception of defensive compounds. First, individual or groups of diapausing H. halys were confined in glass tubes and mechanically agitated to determine if defensive odors were subsequently emitted. Using GC-MS, we also established if exposure to individual defensive odor components [tridecane, (E)-2-decenal, 4-oxo-(E)-2-hexenal, and dodecane] induced individuals to release defensive compounds. Additionally, H. halys dispersal was measured in the laboratory following exposure to individual components of their defensive odor or their natural blend. We found that groups of mechanically agitated H. halys were significantly more likely to release defensive odors, with nearly 100% of grouped adults and none of the individuals releasing defensive compounds. Exposure to 4-oxo-(E)-2-hexenal was the only defensive odor component that triggered individual H. halys to release defensive compounds. Diapausing H. halys exposure to the natural blend of defensive compounds resulted in increased horizontal distance moved and velocity, while tridecane exposure increased distance moved, velocity and angular velocity, and (E)-2-decenal exposure increased distance moved. Our behavioral and chemical data suggest that defensive compounds released by diapausing H. halys act as an alarm pheromone, particularly when adults are in aggregations.