Where else do spotted wing Drosophila like to feed?
New online resource provides a list of non-crop host plants of spotted wing Drosophila in North America.
A new guide to the non-crop host plants used by spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) has just been published by Oregon State University, compiling information from collections made in Michigan, New York, Florida, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The article titled “Noncrop Host Plants of Spotted Wing Drosophila in North America” is now posted as a free PDF on the Factsheets page of the Michigan State University Spotted Wing Drosophila website.
This information combines what was learned from collections of fruit in wild and agricultural habitats since this pest arrived in North America seven years ago. The researchers, including Steve Van Timmeren from MSU’s Department of Entomology and myself, collected fruit and then held it to see what insects emerged from them. This provided definitive information on whether SWD does use a specific host plant.
The information can be used by growers and others to consider which areas may be most likely to provide a reservoir of habitat for this pest, and would therefore pose the greatest risk as a reservoir for pest infestation. There is little information on the effectiveness of removing these non-crop host plants from a landscape, but high densities of these suitable hosts are expected to increase pressure from SWD.
Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.