Detecting the presence of the invasive spotted-wing drosophila could soon get easier with a new molecular test for analyzing DNA in bulk trapping samples—sensitive enough to sniff out just one target fruit fly in a sample of 2,000. And the best liquid for preserving trapped flies’ DNA comes from the dental-care shelf.
Invasive species are a perpetual threat to U.S. agriculture, natural resources, and public health, and we're seemingly inundated with new ones every time you open the news. Is progress possible, or are we destined to spin on an invasive species hamster wheel?
More than a decade after its arrival in the continental U.S., spotted-wing drosophila has spread to many parts of the country. But a decade of research has built a broad knowledge base for a variety of management strategies. A new review in the Journal of Economic Entomology provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of SWD management and promising future directions.
For the invasive fruit fly known as spotted wing drosophila, its success in expanding into new ranges is driven at least in part by a high degree of phenotypic plasticity—the ability to shift traits in response to environmental influences.
A food-grade gum substance shows promise as a new tool for managing the invasive spotted-wing drosophila. The flies don't get stuck, but the scent interferes with their reproductive behavior, and the gum can last up to three weeks in the field.