Effects of interspecific larval competition on developmental parameters in nutrient sources between Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Zaprionus indianus

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Two invasive drosophilids, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Zaprionus indianus (Gupta) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) are expanding their geographic distribution and cohabiting grape production in the Mid-Atlantic. The ecological and economic impact of these two species within vineyards is currently unknown. Zaprionus indianus was presumably not capable of ovipositing directly into grapes because they lack a serrated ovipositor and may use D. suzukii oviposition punctures for depositing their own eggs. Therefore, an interspecific larval competition assay was performed at varying larval densities using commercial medium and four commonly grown wine grapes in Virginia to investigate the impact Z. indianus larvae may have on the mortality and developmental parameters of D. suzukii larvae. Zaprionus indianus did not affect D. suzukii mortality or development parameters even at high interspecific densities when reared in commercial medium, but it did cause higher D. suzukii mortality within grapes. Mortality was also influenced by the variety of grape in which the larvae were reared, with smaller grapes having the highest D. suzukii mortality. Presence of Z. indianus also increased development time to pupariation and adult emergence for most interspecific competition levels compared with the intraspecific D. suzukii controls. Pupal volume was marginally affected at the highest interspecific larval densities. This laboratory study suggests that competition from Z. indianus and grape variety can limit D. suzukii numbers, and the implications on D. suzukii pest management be further verified in the field.



Agriculture Profitability and Sustainability