Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 639–651 | Cite as

Dispersal Capacity and Behavior of Nymphal Stages of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Evaluated Under Laboratory and Field Conditions

  • Doo-Hyung LeeEmail author
  • Anne L. Nielsen
  • Tracy C. Leskey


The invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a highly polyphagous and mobile pest causing crop damage aggregated at the perimeters of crop fields. Understanding the dispersal biology of H. halys is critical for the development of reliable monitoring and management strategies. In this study, dispersal ecology of H. halys nymphs was studied under laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, horizontal and vertical walking capacity was quantified for mobile nymphal stages (i.e., 2nd through 5th instars) and compared with adults. There was a significant difference in the horizontal distance moved by H. halys among the life stages tested. Third instars exhibited significantly greater walking distances compared with adults; horizontal walking distances by other nymphal stages were not significantly different from adults. A similar pattern was observed from vertical climbing tests of H. halys. Third and 4th instars climbed significantly greater distances compared with 2nd instars and adults, while distances climbed by 5th instars were intermediate. In the field, the walking distance of 3rd and 5th instar nymphs on mowed grass was quantified based on direct observation of individuals for 30 min. Under these conditions, 5th instars moved nearly two-fold greater distances compared with 3rd instars, but surface temperature affected both nymphal stages similarly. Shorter bouts of movement were common at surface temperatures below 25 °C, whereas individuals showed longer walking distances above 25 °C. In mark-release-recapture studies, 4th and 5th instars were released and recaptured in traps baited with attractive pheromonal-based stimuli to estimate dispersal rates under field conditions. When insects were released 5 m from traps, both instars were first recaptured within 2 h after release, with the recapture rates of 54 and 69 % for 4th and 5th instars over 24 h, respectively. When insects were released 20 m from traps, 4th and 5th instars were first recaptured in less than 5 h, with the recapture rates of 27 and 51 %, respectively. The results of this study indicate that H. halys nymphs have strong dispersal capacity with which populations can easily move among host plants and other attractive stimuli at farmscape levels.


Brown marmorated stink bug invasive species movement mark-release-recapture 



We thank Cameron Scorza, John Cullum, and Samuel Nathan Brandt for excellent technical support. We thank Clarissa Mathews and Haroun Hallack for allowing us to conduct mark-release-recapture studies at Redbud Farm in Inwood, WV. This work was supported in part by USDA-NIFA OREI # 2012-51300-20097 award. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doo-Hyung Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne L. Nielsen
    • 2
  • Tracy C. Leskey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesGachon UniversitySeongnam-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension CenterBridgetonUSA
  3. 3.USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research StationKearneysvilleUSA

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