Spotted wing drosophila fly found in Arkansas

02/05/2013 04:37:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

spotted wing drosophilaEd SnowSpotted wing drosophilaSpotted wing drosophila have been trapped in Johnson, Washington and White counties in Arkansas, concerning the region's fruit growers.

The University of Arkansas is working with growers to help them learn to identify, sample for and control the winged pest, according a news release.

They’re the boll weevil of fruit,” Sherri Sanders, White County Extension agent, said in the release.

The traps were near blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in Johnson, White and Washington counties.

Additional traps in Crawford, Faulkner and Hempstead counties have not captured any flies.

Unlike most fruit flies that prefer to lay their eggs in rotting fruit, the spotted wing drosphila favors fruit just reaching maturity.

The female ovipositor also is serrated and leaves an opening, providing an entryway for diseases.

Left untreated, the pest can cause up to 100 percent crop loss.

In 2010, strawberry growers in California, Oregon and Washington alone reported estimated revenue losses of $314 million.

A native of Asia, the spotted wing drosophila has a wide host range, including strawberries, caneberries, blueberries and cherries.

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