Brown marmorated stink bug

Alert

Have you seen Brown marmorated stink bug?

Be on the lookout and report signs to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Early detection and reporting are key elements in controlling Brown marmorated stink bug.

Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys or BMSB) is a plant pest that can damage agricultural crops, nursery stock and ornamental plants.

It is highly invasive and has spread to all Northern Hemisphere continents. It is not found in Australia.

It is a significant threat to Australia's agriculture because it has a wide host range, and can cause serious damage to a variety of fruit and vegetable crops.

Brown marmorated stink bug can be present in very high numbers. During cooler months, large numbers will seek shelter and 'overwinter' on and inside buildings, vehicles, shipping containers and industrial structures. It is also known as a nuisance pest because of the foul smelling odour it produces when disturbed.

Scientific name

Halyomorpha halys

Other names

  • BMSB
  • Yellow-brown marmorated stink bug
  • Yellow-brown stink bug

Description

Adults

  • Medium to large (12–17mm long and 7–10mm wide) insects.
  • Shield-shaped body.
  • Generally mottled brown in colour.
  • Alternating light and dark bands on the antennae, legs and the side margins of the abdomen.

Nymphs

  • There are 5 flightless nymph stages.
  • Size ranges from less than 3mm to 12mm long.
  • Orange and black when they first hatch but quickly develop a similar colouration to the adults.

Eggs

  • Laid in clusters of 25 to 30 on the underside of leaves.
  • Light green to white in colour.
  • Barrel-shaped.
  • Approximately 1.6mm long x 1.33mm wide..

Plant stage and plant parts affected

The insect can affect leaves, shoots, stems, trunks and fruit of host plants. Plants of different ages can be affected.

Plant damage

Brown marmorated stink bug is an important crop pest of apple, asparagus, bean, capsicum, citrus, cotton, cucumber, eggplant, grape, peach, pear, raspberry, soybean, tomato, corn and some ornamental species.

Nymphs and adults use piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed. The insects feed on leaves, shoots, stems, and through the bark of some trees.

Both nymphs and adults prefer to feed on developing and ripe fruits and seeds. Feeding damage to fruit can result in sunken areas, corky spots and scarring. As the fruit develops, it may become discoloured and deformed. Premature fruit drop can also occur.

In crops such as maize and soybean, feeding damage can result in shrunken seeds or can halt seed development.

Feeding can also damage plant vegetative tissues which can result in plant wilt and reduced vigour.

May be confused with

Brown marmorated stink bug can be confused with a number of other brown-coloured stink bugs that are present in Australia. There is a comprehensive identification guide available from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

If in doubt, contact us on 13 25 23.

Distribution

Native to eastern Asia (China, Japan and Taiwan). It was introduced to North America in the mid-1990s and more recently to Europe, where it is rapidly becoming a serious pest.

It is not present in Australia, but is often found at the border by quarantine service agencies.

Hosts

Brown marmorated stink bug is polyphagous, which means that it has been reported to have a broad range of host plants including apple, apricot, asparagus, bean, beet, blackberry, blueberry, canola, cantaloupe, cabbage, capsicum, cassava, cedar, Celosia, cherry, chrysanthemum, citrus, coleus, comfrey, corn, cucumber, dahlia, dogwood, eggplant, elderberry, fig, grape, hibiscus, holly, honeysuckle, Jerusalem artichoke, jujube, kiwifruit, lilac, magnolia, Malabar spinach, maple, millet, mulberry, okra, nasturtium, Paulownia, pea, peach, pear, pecan, persimmon, plum, pumpkin, raspberry, rose, rye, soybean, squash, sunflower, tomato, viburnum, walnut, watermelon, wheat, and zinnia, as well as a number of weed species.

Some plants are affected more seriously by this insect than others.

Legal requirements

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture has import conditions in place for goods arriving from countries where brown marmorated stink bug is present.

Further information