Effects of single and mixed diets of selected fruit trees and wild hosts on Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) development and survival
Brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) is a highly polyphagous invasive species that has recently become an important pest in the US. It is known to feed on and move among numerous cultivated and wild host plants throughout the growing season. Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima Mill Swingle) and catalpa (Catalpa speciosa Warder) are common in forested areas near commercial apple and peach orchards in the Mid-Atlantic States and can sustain high BMSB populations. Movement of BMSB from such hosts into orchards poses an on-going threat to fruit production. Since BMSB fitness is known to be positively affected by access to mixed diets during nymphal development, we investigated the effects of single and mixed diets of wild and tree fruit hosts on the developmental rates and survivorship of H. halys nymphs and the nutritional status of resultant adults. The host plant and plant combinations tested were apple, peach, catalpa, tree-of-heaven, apple + tree-of-heaven, apple + tree-of-heaven + peach, and apple + tree-of-heaven + peach + catalpa. The study was conducted under laboratory conditions using cut foliage and reproductive structures (flowers and fruit). Egg masses (n = 4/treatment) were assigned individually to each treatment. The experiments were conducted twice, in early June and mid-August, coinciding with key points in the seasonal population dynamics of BMSB and using reproductive structures that are naturally available to H. halys nymphs at those times.
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