Halyomorpha halys Stål, the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive pest with established populations in Oregon. The generalist feeding habits of H. halys suggest it has the potential to be a pest of many specialty crops grown in Oregon, including hazelnuts, Corylus avellana L. The objectives of this study were to: 1) characterize the damage to developing hazelnut kernels resulting from feeding by H. halys adults, 2) determine how the timing of feeding during kernel development influences damage to kernels, and 3) determine if hazelnut shell thickness has an effect on feeding frequency on kernels. Adult brown marmorated stink bugs were allowed to feed on developing nuts for 1-wk periods from initial kernel development (spring) until harvest (fall). Developing nuts not exposed to feeding by H. halys served as a control treatment. The degree of damage and diagnostic symptoms corresponded with the hazelnut kernels' physiological development. Our results demonstrated that when H. halys fed on hazelnuts before kernel expansion, development of the kernels could cease, resulting in empty shells. When stink bugs fed during kernel expansion, kernels appeared malformed. When stink bugs fed on mature nuts the kernels exhibited corky, necrotic areas. Although significant differences in shell thickness were observed among the cultivars, no significant differences occurred in the proportions of damaged kernels based on field tests and laboratory choice tests. The results of these studies demonstrated that commercial hazelnuts are susceptible to damage caused by the feeding of H. halys throughout the entire period of kernel development.
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