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Spotted wing drosophila

Date:2017-08-16 15:42

Spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) and Vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

Drosophila(vinegar flies) occur widely in temperate and tropical climates around the world. Because their staple food is yeast in rotten fruit, Drosophila can be seen in human habitats such as orchards, vegetable markets and so on. Among the many hundreds of innocuous species, only Drosophila suzukii Matsumura and to some extent Drosophila melanogaster are regarded as pests. Drosophila suzukii is a highly destructive pest of soft fruit.

Host range

Drosophila suzukii have a wide range of host crops. The pest infests 60 kinds of fruit, including persimmon, figs, strawberries, cherries, plum, nectarines, western pears, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, tomatoes and red bayberry,. Drosophila melanogaster is saprophagous and normally only oviposits in rotten fruit with broken skin.


Drosophila suzukii is widely distributed in temperate and tropical climates and is able to survive in regions with cold winters.  It occurs on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.

Hazard symptoms

The ovipositor of Drosophila suzukii is a hardened saw-like structure, allowng it to lay eggs through unbroken skin of soft fruits. Drosophila suzukii can oviposit directly on immature, nearly mature and fully ripe cherries, peaches, European plums, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, persimmons, tomatoes, and some other soft skinned fruit. Ovipositing Drosophila suzukii inject yeast and bacteria into the woulnd they create, allowing rot to spread. The larvae feed on the rotting fruit.

Drosophilamelanogaster is saprophagous, developing in rotten fruit. Because there is no serrated ovipositor, Drosophila melanogaster can only lay eggs in fruit with broken skin. For this reason,  Drosophila suzukii is the more significant pest. Damage caused by Drosophila suzukii commences as the earliest susceptible fruit begins to ripen. Flies migrate from one ripening crop to the next throughout the season.  Drosophila melanogaster is reported to be a vector for sour rot bacteria in grapes.

Drosophila suzukii oviposition marks on a cherry 

Drosophila suzukiion blueberries

Drosophila suzukiion a grapes.

Occurrence and life cycle

Drosophila suzukii
In ideal conditions,Drosophila suzukii  can have up to 13 generations in a year. The fastest life cycle is about 12 days. Life span is mainly affected by temperature. Life span of Drosophila suzukii  is normally 3 weeks tbut can extend to 10 months. In the dormant overwintering phase, adult flies can live for more than 300 days. Sometimes they can also overwinter as larvae or pupae. The adult starts to become active when the temperature exceeds 10. They oviposit 1-3 eggs at one time. Each adult can oviposit nearly 400 eggs in its lifetime. Eggs hatch into larvae in 12 to 72 hours at room temperature. The larvae feed on the fruit from 3-13 days. The pupae give rise to an adults after 1-5 days. In the northern hemisphere, adult Drosophila suzukii   begin to emerge at the end of February or early March when the temperature is around 15 ℃, and ground temperature is 5 ℃,. When the temperature reaches 20 ℃ and the ground temperature is about 15 ℃, Drosophila suzukii   numbers increase rapidly and the adults begin to oviposit in susceptible fruit. The middle of June is a prime time for Drosophila suzukii activity. The larvae persist for 5 ~ 6 days feeding within the fruit.. The mature larvae fall to the ground, and pupate. The adult flies continue to lay eggs for a considerable time and overlapping generations occur. In late September, when the temperatures decrease, active Drosophila suzukii populations begin to decline. In warm regions, Drosophila suzukii remains in its active phase throughout winter but in cold regions, the pests persist in their dormant cold hardy form. 


Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophilamelanogaster goes through about 11 generations a year in ideal conditions. This species overwinters in the pupal stage, which will stay in soil in 1-3 cm deep, in rotten fruit, or dehydrated fruit.

From late October to early November, the populations decline.


Drosophila suzukiiis slightly smaller thanDrosophila melanogaster.  The body length is 3-4 mm. There are some morphological differences that help distinguish Drosophila suzukii  and Drosophila melanogaster. Male Drosophila suzukii have black spots on the apex of their wings but Drosophila melanogaster males do not. Drosophila melanogaster  has five distinct black streaks on the back of the abdomen. The ovipositor of female Drosophila suzukii Matsumura has a distinct black serration, but Drosophila melanogaster does not .

                  Drosophila suzukii                                                                                                                          Drosophila melanogaster


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