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Individual Highlight

"Stressing Out" about New Invasive Insects

Photo of Spotted wing drosophila inside a microfuge tube with a thermocouple in preparation for cold tolerance testing. Amanda Stephens, University of Minnesota and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Spotted wing drosophila inside a microfuge tube with a thermocouple in preparation for cold tolerance testing. Amanda Stephens, University of Minnesota and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Some highly damaging invasive insects depend on forests to survive the winter. Forest Service scientists studied the effects of cold stress on two recent invaders, brown marmorated stink bug and spotted wing drosophila, to better forecast where these species might, and might not, overwinter.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Venette, Robert C. 
Research Location : St. Paul, Minn.
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1165

Summary

Forests and agriculture are intimately connected, especially when it comes to recent insect invasions by some devastating pests. Forests provide essential overwintering habitat for the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomopha halys, and spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii. These two insect species, originally from Asia, are spreading across North America and costing millions of dollars of damage annually to high value commodities such as apples and grapes among more than 100 other crop species. Both insects overwinter in the adult stage, often in forests under loose bark on trees; however, portions of North America may have winters that are too harsh for the insects to survive. Forest Service scientist Rob Venette, working with his colleagues at the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech, have studied the cold stress of both insects. Fewer than 10 percent of brown marmorated stink bugs survived exposure to 0 °F (-18 °C), and fewer than 10 percent of spotted wing drosophila survived exposure to -4 °F (-20 °C). This information is useful to project when and where temperatures might be too cold for these insects to survive winter, now and in future climates.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Michigan State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Virginia Tech

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