The kudzu bug, Megacopta cribraria (F.) (Heteroptera: Plataspidae), is native to Asia, was first detected in Georgia, USA, in 2009, and has since been recognized as a damaging pest of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill; Fabales: Fabaceae) in several southeastern states. Megacopta cribraria dispersed rapidly from 2009 to 2013, after which its spread rate declined sharply. Despite this decline, established populations have remained stable. This decline may be partially attributed to natural enemies of kudzu bug. For example, the exotic egg parasitoids Ooencyrtus nezarae Ishii (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and Paratelenomus saccharalis (Dodd) (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae) have been occasionally detected in the United States since 2016 and 2013, respectively. We recovered O. nezarae from M. cribraria eggs collected from wild patches of kudzu (Pueraria montana Lour. (Merrill) var. lobata (Willd.)) throughout summer 2017. Although the occurrence of O. nezarae in southern Georgia has been suggested based on exit holes from kudzu bug eggs, to our knowledge, this report is the first to document and confirm recovery of O. nezarae from kudzu bug eggs in both Tennessee and Georgia. In addition, at the time of collection in 2017, this recovery was the first confirmation of this species from kudzu in North America. This early-season natural enemy combined with the later-occurring entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo-Crivelli) Vuillemin may reduce and maintain kudzu bug densities, which could lessen economic impacts on soybean producers.

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Author notes

2

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699 USA.

3

USDA-APHIS, National Identification Services, Beltsville, MD 20705 USA.

5

University of Tennessee, 605 Airways Boulevard, Jackson, TN 38301 USA.