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Game changer: The Asian wasp egg parasite, Trissolcus japonicus, has been found in habitat surveys in Beltsville, Maryland.

Asian wasp, enemy of stink bugs, found in the United States “From StopBMSB.org

Trissolcus japonicus emerges from a BMSB egg

One of the recovered Beltsville specimens of Trissolcus japonicus emerges from a BMSB egg. Source: Elijah Talamas, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Systematic Entomology Laboratory

The Asian wasp Trissolcus japonicus has been found in the wild in the United States. The wasp, native to the regions of Asia where the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) originates, is known to attack the eggs of BMSB and possibly other stink bugs. The wasp doesn’t sting or otherwise harm humans, but scientists are working to determine how it might affect stink bugs of all kinds. Kim Hoelmer, an entomologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, wrote:

“A survey of resident egg parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, conducted during the summer of 2014 by Don Weber (ARS-Beltsville Area Research Center, or BARC) using sentinel stink bug egg masses revealed that an Asian egg parasitoid of BMSB, Trissolcus japonicus, was present in the wild at one of his study sites at BARC in Beltsville, Maryland. The specimens were identified by Dr. Elijah Talamas (ARS, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, or SEL), a specialist on this group of parasitoids. We have complete confidence in his identifications. The identification was confirmed by Dr. Matt Buffington (also ARS-SEL) using genomic DNA. The ‘barcode’ regions COI and ITS2 of the BARC specimens were consistent with those of Asian populations of T. japonicus obtained from ARS and CABI-Bioscience field collections in Asia and analyzed by Dr. M.C. Bon at the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory.

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