Currently, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is considered an agricultural and nuisance pest in Georgia. The invasive chinaberry tree, Melia azedarach L. (Meliaceae), commonly grows in dense thickets along roadsides, and in woodlands adjacent to agricultural crops across the southeastern USA. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the potential of M. azedarach to serve as a host plant of H. halys by examining mortality and feeding of first and second instars on M. azedarach leaves vs. carrot (i.e., a control diet), and documenting presence of H. halys on M. azedarach in woodlands at 2 locations in Georgia where this stink bug has become established. Over all sampling dates and locations, the number of H. halys in chinaberry was very low (0.1 per tree), and only 3 late instars and 1 adult were observed feeding on M. azedarach at 1 field site late in the season. Percentage feeding by second instars of H. halys was lower for individuals given M. azedarach leaves vs. those provided with carrot, most likely indicating that compounds in M. azedarach have an antifeeding effect. In fact, mortality for second instars on M. azedarach leaves was very high, and thus we conclude that M. azedarach is an unsuitable host plant for H. halys.
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Vol. 102 • No. 1