|Year of Publication:
|E. J. Bergmann, Venugopal, P. D., Martinson, H. M., Raupp, M. J., Shrewsbury, P. M.
The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is an invasive plant-feeding insect native to eastern Asia. This herbivore is highly polyphagous, feeding on and damaging diverse plants, including field crops, vegetables, tree fruits, and ornamentals. Woody ornamental plants provide early- and late-season resources for adults emerging from and returning to overwintering sites, as well as feeding and breeding sites for H. halys throughout the growing season. In this study, we quantify the use of diverse plants by H. halys in two commercial nurseries in Maryland, recording data on the abundance of egg masses, early and late instar nymphs, and adults over a three-year study period. Our specific goals were to provide a quantitative comparison of the use of diverse plant species and cultivated varieties, identify non-hosts that could be used to create landscapes refractory to H. halys, and determine whether the use of plants varied across life stages of H. halys or the taxonomic status of plants. We found broad use of diverse plants in this study, identifying 88 host plants used by all life stages of H. halys. We also highlight the 43 plant taxa that did not support any life stage of H. halys and are thus classified as non-hosts. Interestingly, some of these plants were congeners of highly-used plants, underscoring high intrageneric and intraspecific variation in the use of plants by this polyphagous herbivore. We discuss how the selective planting of non-hosts, especially gymnosperms, may aid in reducing the agricultural and nuisance pest status of this invasive insect.