Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 1279–1290 | Cite as

Assessment of a commercial spider venom peptide against spotted-wing Drosophila and interaction with adjuvants

  • Philip D. FanningEmail author
  • Anthony VanWoerkom
  • John C. Wise
  • Rufus Isaacs
Original Paper


Chemical control of insect pests in food crops is dominated by broad-spectrum insecticides from a few classes, and there is an urgent need for alternative modes of action. We examined the efficacy of a spider venom peptide, GS-omega/kappa-Hxtx-Hv1a (hereafter, Hv1a) for control of spotted-wing Drosophila and evaluated the importance of phagostimulants and adjuvants for its efficacy. Topical and residual activity of Hv1a was low, with only 17.5% of exposed adult D. suzukii dying after 72 h. In contrast, 100% adult mortality was observed after 24 h when three adjuvants were added to Hv1a. Survival of eggs of D. suzukii oviposited into blueberries was also reduced by exposure to Hv1a combined with the same adjuvants, indicating that Hv1a activity against D. suzukii in the laboratory, but requires penetration of the insect cuticle for efficacy. In a field trial in blueberries, Hv1a gave comparable control to phosmet, and significantly reduced infestation in fruit. This biopesticide adds a new mode of action to the options available for integrated pest management of this and other insect’s pests.


Adjuvants Blueberries Biopesticide Drosophila 



The authors acknowledge the excellent assistance of Elizabeth Espeland with bioassays and maintaining cultures of Drosophila suzukii. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the quality of the paper.


This study was funded in part by the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (award 2015-51181-24252) and the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (award 2015-51300-24154). This research was supported in part by chemical companies providing pesticides and/or research funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animal rights statement

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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Fanning
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anthony VanWoerkom
    • 1
  • John C. Wise
    • 1
  • Rufus Isaacs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyMichigan State University, 201 Center for Integrated Plant SystemsEast LansingUSA

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