National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and BioResources

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Biocontrol of Halyomorpha halys in Italy: overview and current state

Elena Costi 
Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita - Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia - Italy

December 07, 2022 (11:30-12:30)
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Abstract: The brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), native to east Asia, is an invasive pest of agricultural crops in southern Europe and north America. Invasive populations of this species caused more than 588 mln € damage on fruit crops in Italy in 2019. In native areas, the egg- parasitoids Trissolcus japonicus and T. mitsukurii (Scelionidae) are the most efficient biocontrol agents of H. halys whereas surveys of native egg-parasitoids performed in Europe revealed the predominant presence of the native species Anastatus bifasciatus (Eupelmidae) with percentages of parasitism up to 20% on naturally laid eggs. Augmentative releases of this species carried out in Emilia Romagna region showed an average parasitization of 6% on naturally laid eggs. Since 2016 adventive populations of both exotic egg-parasitoids (T. japonicus and T. mitsukurii) have been found in Italy and, starting from 2020, a classical biological control program with T. japonicus was authorized. Collection of naturally laid egg masses by H. halys and other stinkbugs was carried out with the aim of verifying the presence of established population of T. japonicus, its parasitization efficiency on both H. halys and non-target species. The results of the three years program provide optimistic prospects due the successful settlement of T. japonicus, the spreading capacity of the adventive exotic parasitoids and the efficient contribution of the native parasitoid A. bifasciatus. Besides, the impact of the exotic parasitoids on non-target hemipterans was negligible

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