Acroclisoides sinicus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) was described in 1988 from China, but recent findings in Europe and North America within the framework of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) biological control indicate a Holarctic distribution. The few records and fragmented information on A. sinicus are derived from generic observations of other species belonging to the same genus, and its biological and ethological traits are still completely unexplored. It was suspected to be a facultative or obligate hyperparasitoid of many egg parasitoid species (e.g., Scelionidae and Eupelmidae), especially those parasitizing Pentatomidae eggs. Laboratory colonies of A. sinicus were established from specimens collected in the field in Europe and the USA, which allowed us to investigate for the first time the life traits of this somewhat enigmatic species. Our studies confirmed the obligate hyperparasitoid hypothesis for species of Scelionidae but not of Eupelmidae. Laboratory studies revealed that A. sinicus is extremely selective in its host recognition as only the pupal stage of its host species is exploited for parasitization. Taking into consideration its hyperparasitoid habit, the adventive A. sinicus populations in Europe and North America may potentially be severe threats to pentatomid natural control as new components in the trophic chain of pentatomids and their parasitoid guilds.
Keywords: Eupelmidae; Halyomorpha halys; Scelionidae; Trissolcus japonicus; Trissolcus mitsukurii; biological control.