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Spotted Winged Drosophila Found in Arkansas

July 27, 2012

That is one impressive ovipositor!

The potentially serious pest, spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been found in White County about 3 weeks ago and more recently in Fayetteville. Dr. Donn Johnson has issued this pest alert.  This fruit fly can cause serious economic damage to a range of fruit and vegetables including stone fruits, berries, grapes, persimmons, mulberries, melons, and tomatoes.  Chances are that if it’s sweet when ripe, the SWD will like it!  Females lay eggs in ripe fruit with their serrated ovipositor. Within a few days (usually by the time the consumer eats the fruit) the larva has emerged from the egg – not a pleasant site for the eater!  Most people get a little squeemish when they see a maggot in their fruit.

Review the Extension bulletin, Spotted Wing Drosophila: Potential Pest of Arkansas Fruit for more details on sampling and control methods. And here  or here is some more interesting history on this pest.  In it’s native habitat in Japan, and also in California, it can have up to 13 generations per year!

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