Spotted Wing Drosophila: A Key Pest of Small Fruits in New Jersey
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, is an invasive vinegar fly that can damage many fruit crops including blueberry, grape, cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry. Native to Southeast Asia, SWD was first detected in the continental U.S. in 2008, since then it has become established in many states across the country and was first found in New Jersey on July of 2011. Unlike the majority of its fruit fly relatives, SWD has the potential to be a major pest because the female of the species is equipped with a large serrated ovipositor which can saw through the soft skin of many ripening small fruits in order to lay eggs. The larvae rapidly develop within the fruit. SWD infestation causes puncture wounds, softening, wrinkling, collapse of the fruit, and contamination with larvae.