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Population dynamics and ecology of Drosophila suzukii in Central California

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Drosophila suzukii is a serious pest of several fruit crop systems in California’s Central Valley, which is one of the world’s major fruit-growing regions. This study followed D. suzukii seasonal population dynamics in multiple cropping and riparian systems in four cherry-producing counties of the Valley. Apple cider vinegar baited traps were used to monitor D. suzukii adults weekly, from April 2013 to July 2014, in 28 fields. Results show peak captures in the spring and fall seasons. In cherry orchards, adult trap counts were the highest near harvest (June) and declined thereafter, as fly populations moved to other crop (e.g., citrus) or non-crop habitats. The number of captured adults was positively related between pairs of sampled sites based on their proximity but was negatively related to differences in fruit ripening periods between different crops, suggesting that fly populations moved among crop and/or non-crop habitats during the year or had varying population dynamics on different crops and in different seasons. Mature egg load per female was higher during the fruiting season but lower during the winter season, with the majority of winter-captured females not containing mature eggs. This survey also reports for the first time the presence of trapped D. suzukii adults bearing melanized and encapsulated parasitoids in North America, non-target captures of larval drosophilid parasitoids in the traps, as well as the occurrence of larvae in the ovaries of adult female D. suzukii.

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We thank John Hutchins, Racheal Muradian, Gülay Kaçar, Sean Tomajan, Paris Marler, James Feng, and Laura Wolf (University of California, Berkeley) for laboratory assistance, numerous growers for using their orchards, and two reviewers for critical comments. Thomas Stewart was supported by a Graduate Scholarship from California State University, Fresno. Antonio Biondi received funding from the People Program (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program FP7/2007-2013/under REA Grant Agreement 318246 and from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (PRIN Project GEISCA 2010CXXHJE_004, and SIR Project ENTOBIONANO, RBSI14I02A). Funding was provided by the California Cherry Board, USDA APHIS (Farm Bill, Fund 14-8130-0463), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative under Agreement No. 2015-51181-24252.

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Correspondence to Xin-Geng Wang.

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All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Special Issue: Spotted Wing Drosophila

Communicated by M. Traugott.

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Wang, X., Stewart, T.J., Biondi, A. et al. Population dynamics and ecology of Drosophila suzukii in Central California. J Pest Sci 89, 701–712 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-016-0747-6

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  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Population ecology
  • Egg load
  • Encapsulation
  • Ovoviviparity