Spotted Wing Drosophila Projects
Spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is a major threat to small and stone fruit production in the U.S., causing direct damage through its egg laying and development of its offspring. The majority of Drosophila species feed on overripe fruit, which spotted wing drosophila can also do, but this species prefers to lay its eggs in ripe fruit and has an egg laying structure that is capable of cutting the skin of thin skinned fruit. For more information about identification and management of this pest, please see resources below.
Currently, strategies to monitor to this pest and determine its presence and activity in commercial cropping systems are unreliable and logistically difficult to use by farmers. Additionally, management options are very limited and the impact of spotted wing drosophila on fruit diseases is unknown. Therefore the Hamby lab has specific research projects to address these questions.
Starting our spotted wing drosophila work in Maryland, the Hamby lab is evaluating the seasonal phenology and efficacy of a commercial trapping system at pick-your-own diversified small farm sites. We are trapping adult spotted wing drosophila and evaluating larval infestation in a variety of potential hosts at these sites.
A long term goal of the Hamby lab is to evaluate how fungal microbes impact and are impacted by spotted wing drosophila, because this is a promising area for developing new attractants for monitoring and management strategies. In collaboration with the Swett lab (https://www.psla.umd.edu/research/research-lab-pages/swett-lab-berry-pathology), we are also researching how insect pests may impact plant pathogenic fungi. On a biological level, the nutrition and/or competition from fungi may impact spotted wing drosophila fitness in fruit. The Hamby lab is particularly interested in yeast associations in spotted wing drosophila.
For UME articles by the Hamby lab on SWD:
UME Vegetable & Fruit News 2016 Issue #6 (pdf)
Fruit Rots and Spotted Wing Drosophila in Fall Bearing Red Raspberries (pdf)
Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring and Management (pdf)
UME Vegetable & Fruit News 2015 Special Alert #2 (pdf)
UME Vegetable & Fruit News 2015 Issue #3 (pdf)
For more information on spotted wing drosophila identification:
For more information on spotted wing drosophila larval monitoring:
For general information on spotted wing drosophila: