Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosphilidae): Risk Assessment For An Invasive Vinegar Fly In Virginia Vineyards

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Virginia Tech


Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophila) is an invasive frugivore and has become a significant pest of small fruit, cherry and grape throughout the United States. It may be possible to determine if a Virginia vineyard is at risk of D. suzukii infestation by analyzing the biotic and abiotic factors around each vineyard. This pest is known to utilize a wide range of cultivated and wild host plants. A host plant survey was conducted at four vineyards in the Piedmont Region of Virginia to identify hosts used by D. suzukii around vineyards. The seasonal availability of host plants and adult emergence from them were tracked. Six host plant species of D. suzukii were identified, some available season-long. Monitoring D. suzukii in cultivated crops is crucial for the timing of spray applications. Homemade and commercially available baits and traps were deployed in two vineyards to determine the efficacy and selectivity towards D. suzukii. The homemade and commercially available baits that contained red wine caught the most D. suzukii, but none were exclusively attractive to D. suzukii. Wine grape susceptibility was assessed in laboratory choice and no-choice ovipositional bioassays. Ovipositional susceptibility was determined by measuring the physiological and morphological parameters using six wine grape varieties. More eggs were laid in grapes as penetration force decreased. Penetration force and not skin thickness was the limiting factor for oviposition. Survivorship of eggs laid in intact grapes was analyzed and survivorship to adulthood was dependent upon variety and survivorship usually exceeded 9% survival seen in previous studies. Larval developmental parameters of D. suzukii were affected by grape variety and the density of Z. indianus. D. suzukii mortality was increased in most cases when in competition with Z. indianus, but was less pronounced when reared in Viognier grapes. My Z. indianus oviposition study demonstrated that they will follow injury created by D. suzukii, and then the Z. indianus larvae may outcompete D. suzukii within the berries. These studies greatly improved our understanding of D. suzukii biology and ecology in Virginia vineyards.



Drosophila suzukii, Zaprionus indianus, host plants, interspecific competition, wine grapes, trapping