Drosophila Suzukii Development & Attraction
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In the effort to improve the efficacy and sustainability of organic food production, approaches to combat crop pests without the use of pesticides are necessary. The Drosophila suzukii pomace fly, known as spotted wing drosophila or SWD, is an invasive pest that causes significant economic damage to important fruit crops. Creating a sustainable integrated pest management program for SWD requires a specific understanding of its development and survival as well as effective approaches for managing quick-growing populations. Part 1 of this study focuses on degree-days required for SWD development and the effects of extreme temperatures on SWD infestation success and survival. Blueberries were infested with lab-reared wild flies to examine the development time from egg to adult, which was found to be significantly faster than previous lab studies under constant conditions. Maximum daily temperatures negatively affected SWD infestation success and may negatively affect SWD survival. Part 2 of this study examined the efficacy of SWD pheromones for short-range attraction for use in mass trapping. Pheromone extracts were used in short-range flight assays and contact assays to test their attractiveness to SWD. Pheromone extracts were not attractive to SWD, so have been concluded to be ineffective as a lure for trapping. These results provide important insights about SWD development and ecology, adding to the collective knowledge of SWD biology to allow the development of a more sustainable approach to controlling SWD in fruit crops worldwide.