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Impact of floral feeding on adult Drosophila suzukii survival and nutrient status


Drosophila suzukii, spotted wing drosophila, is a serious pest of small fruits and cherries in many regions of the world. While host usage has been well studied at the ovipositional and larval feeding stages, little is known about the feeding ecology and nutrient requirements of adults. This study addressed the impact of feeding on the survival and nutrient reserves of adult D. suzukii in laboratory assays. First, access to cherry blossoms increased survival rates of both adult males and females compared to water only. This suggests that these early spring blossoms may provide a food source for D. suzukii in fields that may be devoid of other food sources. Second, D. suzukii reared on a standard laboratory diet as larvae emerged as adults with minimal glycogen and sugar levels. Adults with continued access to a carbohydrate–protein diet showed rapidly elevated carbohydrate reserves, and adults with continued access to only water showed a decline in total sugars. Third, females with access to cherry or blueberry blossoms showed elevated carbohydrate reserves when compared to those with access to water only. These results illustrate the importance of adult feeding in enhancing survival and carbohydrate reserves among D. suzukii.

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We are grateful for Adam Cave for rearing D. suzukii, and Danielle Selleck and Jeff Wong for assistance with assays. We thank Anita Azarenko, Eric Pond, and Jay Pscheidt for access to fresh blueberry and cherry blossoms. Funding was provided by the USDA SCRI Grant 2010-51181-21167, and USDA CRIS 5358-22000-037-00D and 2072-22000-040-00D.

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Correspondence to Samantha Tochen.

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Special Issue: Spotted Wing Drosophila.

Communicated by A. Biondi.

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Tochen, S., Walton, V.M. & Lee, J.C. Impact of floral feeding on adult Drosophila suzukii survival and nutrient status. J Pest Sci 89, 793–802 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-016-0762-7

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  • Glycogen
  • Nectar
  • Lipid
  • Sugar