Friday, September 7, 2012

Spotted wing drosophila caught dead in its tracks

Ripe red raspberry with dead SWD stuck in the fruit.

This time of year is usually my favorite time to go to our research plots in the mountains. The temperatures are cooler, the humidity is dropping, and the fall-fruiting raspberries and blackberries are ripe.  It is usually great fun to evaluate and taste our advanced material that is in replicated trials in and out of tunnels. Well, this year, it is not that way. We are getting a double whammy this week, it rained 1.6" in 4 days, was very foggy in between rains so fruit was very soggy, even under the tunnels. AND to add a bit more misery to the soggy berry harvest, our current nemesis the Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) was present in all plots with a vengeance. In the photo above, a dead adult was stuck in a ripe fruit. YUK!

We are hopeful that the weather improves so that the rains and fog will not hamper our fruit production next week. SWD on the other hand, is a longer term problem. Fortunately we have a very dynamic researcher working on this insect, Hannah Burrack. For more on Dr. Hannah Burrack's work on SWD, check out her blog.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! that is scary.. I'll be more vigilant these coming weeks with a sharp eye out for those evil buggers! - In Rutherford County, NC