Cold tolerance of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) across geographic and temporal scales

Theresa M. Cira, Robert C. Venette, John Aigner, Thomas Kuhar, Donald E. Mullins, Sandra E. Gabbert, W. D. Hutchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is native to eastern Asia and is presently invading North America. Little is known about the exposure to and effects of winter temperatures in newly invaded regions on H. halys. The overwintering habitats that this species utilizes vary greatly in their thermal buffering capacity. They naturally overwinter in aggregations beneath loose bark on trees and in cliff outcroppings, but will also commonly aggregate in buildings. Effects of cold temperatures such as mortality and freezing have yet to be quantified in the invading population. We report that H. halys is chill intolerant (i.e., dies before reaching its freezing point), and that the degree of cold tolerance of populations in North America differs by season, sex, and acclimation location. The mean winter supercooling point (± SEM) of individuals acclimated in Minnesota was -17.06°C ± 0.13 and in Virginia was -13.90°C ± 0.09. By using laboratory assays of lower lethal temperatures and ambient air temperature records, we accurately forecasted mortality for field experiments in Minnesota and Virginia. Temperature refugia provided by human-built structures are likely crucial for overwintering survival during atypically cold winters and possibly contribute to the northern geographic range expansion of this economically damaging insect in the temperate climates of North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-491
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Chill intolerance
  • Cold hardiness
  • Invasive species
  • Supercooling point

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