Fallen Fruit Breeds Invasive Flies

spotted-wing drosophila closeup

By Andrew Porterfield The spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) made its way from Asia to Hawaii benignly enough: Its Hawaii arrival was discovered in 1980 but didn’t trigger aggressive attempts to eradicate it. The fruit fly’s 2008 North American arrival in Santa Cruz, California, however, ushered in a far more destructive era for the fly—it’s now […]

How Salt, a Coffee Filter, and a Microscope Could Aid in Managing Spotted-Wing Drosophila

filter method for finding spotted-wing drosophila

By Andrew Porterfield The red-eyed, spotted fly first appeared in the United States in strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry crops in Santa Cruz County, California, in 2008. Then the Southeast Asian invader Drosophila suzukii began showing up in crops in other areas of coastal California, eventually making its way to the far Pacific Northwest and then […]

Two Artificial Sweeteners Kill Fruit Flies

Continuing their research into potential ingredients for human-safe pesticides, Drexel University researchers recently found an artificial sweetener that, while harmless for male fruit flies, proved particularly lethal for females. Their findings are published in the Journal of Insect Science. Past research conducted by the team at Drexel indicated that erythritol, an artificial sweetener in name-brand […]

Exotic Fruit Flies Found for First Time in Los Angeles

A group of researchers from the U.S. and Australia have announced the completely unexpected discovery of two exotic fruit flies in urban Los Angeles in a paper appearing in the journal PLOS ONE. The species were not previously known to exist in the U.S. “I was as surprised as anyone when such unusual flies were […]

Mutational Chain Reaction Can Spread Throughout Insect Populations

By David O’Brochta A report recently published in Science describes a system by which one can introduce mutations into insect genomes and have those mutations quickly spread to all of the mutant’s progeny, and to all of their progeny’s progeny, and so on.The new system does not follow the standard rules of chromosome and gene […]