The spotted-winged drosophila in Chile

Last June, the Agricultural and Livestock Service of Chile, SAG, issued an Exempt Resolution (No. 3672) in order to establish provisional emergency phytosanitary measures for the pest Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) , commonly known as spotted-winged drosophila.

The species was identified through the Specific Surveillance activities established by the SAG, so "it is necessary to establish provisional measures immediately so that a sufficient number of records is available as soon as possible to determine the current status of the pest in the area and its behavior under local conditions in order to redefine and carry out actions in accordance with this diagnosis", Says the document, adding that"it is important to adopt phytosanitary measures against the pest that allow the producers of the species that the international literature indicates as hosts, located in the regulated areas, to establish preventive measures to avoid or eventually eliminate the populations of the same that are detected".

As an immediate measure, an area of ​​4 km was established from each pest detection point. According to SAG, the detection was carried out on May 26, 2017 in a trap installed on the Villarrica-Pucón road and was identified in the laboratory of the NC Fruit Flies Program. These specimens are subsequently ratified by molecular analysis (PCR). Following these detections, the SAG of the Araucanía region immediately implemented intensive pest surveillance actions around the points, and more positive adult individuals begin to be detected in these areas. On June 9, they are identified - product of analysis of samples in Osorno Laboratory - adult specimens in traps of Petrohué sector, commune of Puerto Varas, in the region of Los Lagos. Then on June 15, it is determined in the Entomology Laboratory of the Metropolitan Region, and subsequent molecular analysis, adult specimens in the Ranco Lake Commune trap, in the Los Ríos region.

Despite these data, the pest has not been detected attacking fruit of any kind, therefore, it is unknown which would be the hosts in Chile that serve as a means for its reproduction. The behavior that the pest may have is unknown since it depends on multiple variables, such as climatic conditions, range of cultivated hosts and range of wild hosts, presence of refuge areas, integrated management against the pest in areas where it is present, and adaptation from the pest to local conditions. Therefore, the SAG does not know the level of damage that it could cause in Chile to host and wild crops.

Drosophila with spotted wings is a new pest of fruit native to Southeast Asia, and is one of the few species of Drosophila that can attack healthy fruit. It has been cited in many hosts, both cultivated (cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry), as not cultivated. This family of flies has on 3000 species described worldwide. Research indicates that in Chile there is more than 30 species of the same family.

The Drosophile of spotted wings has a high reproduction rate and can develop many generations per year, two characteristics that together with its polyphagy are a challenge to achieve effective control in fruit orchards, so this pest has become a serious economic threat to crops, because unlike most species of its genus - commonly referred to as "vinegar flies" (which are not pests, because they infest fruit rudder, fall, or in a state of fermentation) - the females of this species oviponen in healthy fruits that are in a state of maturation and that preferably have smooth and thin epidermis. Subsequently, its larvae develop and feed on the pulp of the fruit, causing it to become unmarketable.

Its dispersion around the world has been very rapid and the last country in which it has been cited is Brazil, which shows a rapid expansion, a typically high fertility and a short time life cycle, which added to the availability of hosts and climatic conditions of our country, we can conclude that it is possible to find areas with adequate conditions for the establishment and dispersion of this pest in Chile.

List of pesticides authorized for official control of Drosophila suzukii (updated 01 / 12 / 2017)End of the form.

Source: Martín Carrillo O. - Blueberries Consulting

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