Stink Bug | Kalkadoona pallida

California Pest Rating  for
Stink Bug | Kalkadoona pallida (Van Duzee)
Hemiptera: Pentatomidae
Pest Rating: A


Initiating Event:

Six adult specimens of K. pallida were collected in a natural area reserve on Oahu Island, Hawaii, on May 26, 2016 (J. Matsunaga, pers. comm.).  This apparently represents the first detection of the species in the United States.

History & Status:

Background: Kalkadoona pallida is a pale brownish-yellow stink bug that measures 7-8 mm in length (Van Duzee, 1905).  This bug lives in desert sand dunes in Australia, where it has been recorded feeding on plants in the genera Dodonaea (Sapindaceae) and Enchylaena (Amaranthaceae) (Atlas of Living Australia; Cassis & Gross, 2002).  The specimens recently (2016) collected in Hawaii were found feeding on Atriplex suberecta (sprawling saltbush) (Amaranthaceae) (J. Matsunaga, pers. comm.).

Worldwide Distribution: Kalkadoona pallida is native to southern Australia.  It was recently reported in a natural area on Oahu Island, Hawaii, United States, where it was presumably introduced.

Official Control: Kalkadoona pallida is not known to be under official control anywhere.

California Distribution:  Kalkadoona pallida is not known to occur in California (Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network).

California Interceptions: This species is not known to have been intercepted in California.

The risk Kalkadoona pallida would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: The area of Australia in which Kalkadoona pallida occurs has a semi-arid to arid climate. There are large areas in California that have a similar climate.  In addition, pallida is established on Oahu Island, Hawaii, which suggests that this species has a relatively broad climatic tolerance.  Therefore, Kalkadoona pallida receives a High (3) in this category.

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

– Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

– High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Kalkadoona pallida is known to feed on three species of plant, in three genera. Therefore, pallida receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.

– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

– High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Kalkadoona pallida is capable of flight, as at least some of the collecting records from Australia indicate specimens were captured in flight or were attracted to light. Reproductive potential is unknown for this species.  Therefore, pallida receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Within the plant families that Kalkadoona pallida has been recorded feeding upon, there are some crops (spinach and beets, in the Amaranthaceae) and ornamental plants (in the Scrophulariaceae). However, this insect prefers arid or semi-arid conditions, and there do not appear to be any reports of it being a pest in Australia, which has a similar climate to California.  In Hawaii, it feeds on an introduced weed growing near the shore and is not known to be a pest there.  For these reasons, it seems unlikely that Kalkadoona pallida could significantly impact agriculture in California.  Therefore, it receives a Low (1) in this category.

Economic Impact:

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 1

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

– High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: The reported host plants of this species in Australia belong to the families Amaranthaceae and Scrophulariaceae. Also within these families are some rare California plants, including the Federally-endangered Suaeda californica Watson (California seablite), which is limited to the California coast, the rare Amaranthus watsonii Standley (Watson’s amaranth), which occurs in creosote bush scrub in southern California, a number of Atriplex species (saltbushes, etc.), and the rare Scrophularia villosa Pennell (Santa Catalina figwort).  It is possible that, if K. pallida was introduced to California, it could feed on and threaten these species.  The Atriplex species are perhaps most at risk because K. pallida is known to feed on A. suberecta in Hawaii.  Pentatomids are known to transmit plant diseases.  If K. pallida can transmit such diseases, this would pose an additional risk to California native plants.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact: B

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

Environmental Impact Score: 2

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

– Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Kalkadoona pallida: Medium (10)

Add up the total score and include it here.

–Low = 5-8 points

–Medium = 9-12 points

–High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Kalkadoona pallida is not known to occur in California.  It receives a Not established (0) in this category.

–Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

–Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

–Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

–High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (10)


This species is not known to be a pest in Hawaii, which is the only locality to which this species is known to have been introduced.  However, there are native species of Atriplex present in California, and these native species could be more heavily impacted.  It is also possible that this species could feed on a much broader range of hosts if it became established in California.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Kalkadoona pallida is a phytophagous insect that is likely capable of becoming established in California.  If it did so, it is unlikely to have an economic impact, but it could attack multiple species of rare plants.  The potential for environmental damage, and the fact that this species is not yet present in the state, justify an “A” rating.


Atlas of Living Australia.  Accessed March 2, 2018.

Calflora.  Accessed March 2, 2018.

Cassis, G. & Gross, G.F.  2002.  Entomological Catalogue of Australia.  CSIRO Publishing.  737 pp.

Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network.  Accessed March 2, 2018.

Van Duzee, E.P.  1905.  Notes on Australian Pentatomidae, with descriptions of a few new species.  Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.  21: 187-214.


Kyle Beucke, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA, 95814, 916-403-6741,[@]

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211,[@]

Comment Period:* CLOSED

4/10/18 – 5/25/18


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Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls