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New Study Aims to Protect Parasitoids of Spotted-Wing Drosophila
Entomology Today

By John P. Roche

Spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) is a fruit fly that originated in Asia and became an invasive species in North America, South America, and Europe.The fly lays its eggs in small fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and strawberries, causing $500 million to $700 million dollars in crop damage in the U.S. each year.

However, species of other insects called parasitoids lay their eggs in spotted-wing drosophila eggs and pupae, and these parasitoids help with natural biological control of D. suzukii in the environment. Insecticides used to control spotted-wing drosophila that show lower toxicity to these parasitoids are preferable because they don’t impede the ability of the parasitoids to contribute to management of the pest.

To explore the insecticide resistance of parasitoid species, Daniele Cristine Hoffmann Schlesener, Ph.D., Flávio Roberto Mello Garcia, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil investigated how two parasitoid wasps, Trichopria anastrephae and Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae, are affected by eight common commercial insecticides used to control fruit pests. The results fo their study were published last week in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

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