Drosophila suzukii

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Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931) - (spotted wing drosophila)

Unlike most species in the genus Drosophila, D. suzukii can oviposit into nearly-ripe fruits of its host plants. Native to China and Korea, it was introduced in the early 1900s to Japan, where it was described, and has also been introduced into Hawai'i (in the 1980s), mainland North America (first record in 2008) and Europe (first record in 2009).

D.suzukii female
D.suzukii female, photo courtesy of Phycus
D.suzukii male
D.suzukii male, photo courtesy of Phycus

For reviews on several aspects of the pest see the Journal of Pest Science (2016).

Preferred scientific name

Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931)


Leucophenga suzukii Matsumura, 1931

Common names

Spotted wing drosophila, Oriental vinegar fly, cherry vinegar fly, cherry drosophila, yīng táo gǔo yíng (Chinese), drosophile à ailes tachetées, moucheron asiatique (French), Kirschessigfliege (German), ôtô-syôzyôbae, ôtô-shôjôbae, Suzuki-shôjôbae, Tsumaguro-shôjôbae (Japanese), Drosophila de las alas manchadas (Spanish)


Native: Burma[1][2],China[1], Korea[3][4][2], India (Punjab[5], Kashmir[6]), Russia (Vladivostok area [7][8] [9]), Thailand[1][2]

Introduced: Japan [10][11][12],Hawai'i[2][13],
cherry with oviposition holes
Cherry with oviposition scars, photo courtesy of Phycus
mainland USA (California, Oregon, Washington, Florida[14], where it is rapidly spreading[15]), Canada (British Columbia)[14][16], Europe (Italy[17], France, Spain [14])

Host list

Soft fruits: Vitis vinifera, Rubus spp.[16][18], Ribes spp., Prunus spp. (apricot[14],peach[10][14], plum [19][20], cherry[10] [21]), Fragaria spp.[14][20], Vaccinium spp., Myrica rubra[22][15], Morus spp., Cornus kousa[16][15], Eugenia uniflora (Surinam Cherry), Fragaria ananassa (commercial strawberries), Murraya paniculata (Orange Jessamine)[15].

Hard fruits such as Malus[10][14], probably Pyrus also, Diospyros[14][18], Lycopersicon[14][15] and Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)[15] may be attacked if the skin is already broken, or serve the adult as a food source.

D. suzukii ovipositor
D. suzukii ovipositor, photo courtesy of Phycus
D. suzukii male wing
D. suzukii male wing, photo courtesy of Phycus

Host parts affected

Females oviposit into ripe or nearly ripe fruit. Damaged fruit may be food sources for adults.

Recognition / Identification

Female ovipositor is serrated for cutting fruit skin. Males have dark wing spots. Otherwise like other Drosophila species.

Notes on biology

Adults emerge between 8 and 9 a.m. in Japan. Adults are motionless at 5°C, begin to crawl at 10°C, are most active at 20°C and show less activity at 30°C. They live for 21-66 days in May-August, but those emerging in late September onwards overwinter and sometimes survive until the following July. Hibernation occurs in sheltered places in late November when it is 5°C [10].

Eggs are laid on warm days from April to November in the fruits, ripe fruit [10][19] to just unripe fruit [23]. being preferred. No oviposition occurs on very unripe cherry fruit [19]. The average number of eggs laid per ripe cherry per female is about 2 to 2.5 [19][10]. Oviposition lasts 10-59 days and the average number of eggs per female is 384 with 7-16 being laid per day [10].

Egg stage lasts 2-72 hours, taking only one day in May and June on cherry. Adults are more numerous in early summer and early fall (June-July, September-October) [10].

Larvae mature in 3-13 days. Pupae are passed in the fruit or in the soil, and last 3-15 days. If the fruit is decayed or very unripe only 50% of the larvae survive to pupate [10].

As many as 65 adults may emerge from a single cherry [10].

Adults are attracted to fermenting fruit to feed and this can be used to advantage to trap them [23].

One life-cycle takes from 21-25 days at a constant temperature of 15°C[10]. At 12°C the life cycle is 50 days, at 18°C it is 19 days, at 25°C it takes 8.5 days and at 28°C only one week. Beyond 30°C males are thought to be sterile [23].


For additional, including recent references see box on top left.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hu K, Zhang W-X, Carson HL. 1993. The Drosophilidae (Diptera) of Hainan Island (China). Pacific Science 47(4):319-327.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Toda MJ, Sidorenko VS, Watabe H-a, Kholin SK, Vinokurov NN. 1996. A revision of the Drosophilidae (Diptera) in East Siberia and Russian Far East: Taxonomy and biogeography. Zoological Science 13:455-477.
  3. Kim KW, Paik YK. 1957. Key to species of family Drosophilidae occurring in South Korea. Drosophila Information Service 31: 125-129.
  4. Okada T. 1976. New distribution records of the drosophilids in the Oriental Region. Acta Dipterologica 8: 1-8.
  5. Parshad R, Paika I.J. 1964. Drosophilid survey of India II: Taxonomy and cytology of the subgenus Sophophora (Drosophila). Research Bulletin of Panjab University 15:225-252.
  6. Gupta JP. 1974. The family Drosophilidae in India. Indian Biologist 5:7-30.
  7. Storozhenko SY, Sidorenko VS, Lafer GS, Kholin SK. 2003. Myezhdunarodniy god izuchyeniya bioraznoobraziya (IBOY): nasekomie lyesnikh ekosistyem Primorskogo kraya (The international biodiversity observation year (IBOY): insects of forest ecosystems of the Primorye region). In: Chtyelniya Pamyati Alexseya Ivanovicha Kurentsova (AI Kurentsov's Annual Memorial Meetings): Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Science, Vladivostok, 31-52.
  8. Sidorenko VS. 1992. New and unrecorded species of Drosophilidae from Soviet Far East. Spixiana 15:93-95.
  9. Sidorenko VS. 1993. Tribe Drosophilini of the Asian part of the USSR. Entomofauna 14(13):253-268.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 Kanzawa T. 1939. Studies on Drosophila suzukii Mats. Yamanishi Agricultural Experimental Station.
  11. Kikkawa H, Peng FT. 1938. Drosophila species of Japan and adjacent localities. Japanese Journal of Zoology 7: 507-552.
  12. Makino S, Kanehisa T. 1951. A preliminary survey of the geographical distribution of Drosophila in Hokkaido. Drosophila Information Service 25:110-111.
  13. O’Grady PM. 2002. New records for introduced Drosophilidae (Diptera) in Hawai’i. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 69:34-35.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 Hauser M., Gaimari S., Damus M. 2009. Drosophila suzukii new to North America. Fly Times 43:12-15. see article
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Anonymous. 2010. Update for spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii and potential on blueberry. [1]
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 BCMAL. 2009. Spotted Wing Drosophila (Fruit Fly) Pest Alert. Available: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/swd.htm [accessed January 27 2010].
  17. EPPO report 2010
  18. 18.0 18.1 Kanzawa T. 1936. Studies on Drosophila suzukii Mats. Journal of Plant Protection 23(1-3):66-70,127-132,183-191. (abstract only seen).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Mitsui H., Takahashi KH, Kimura MT. 2006. Spatial distributions and clutch sizes of Drosophila species ovipositing on cherry fruits of different stages. Population Ecology 48:233-237.
  20. 20.0 20.1 ODA. 2009. Pest alert: spotted wing Drosophila, Oregon department of Agriculture, September 2009. [2].
  21. Cline H. 2009. CVF causing widespread damage. Western Farm Press, July 6 2009.
  22. Wu S-r, Li J-t, Li Zh-y, Tao M, Xu Zh-q, Ma G-l, Xiao Ch. 2007a. A comparative study on control effects of fruit flies by different methods in red bayberry. Journal of Mountain Agriculture and Biology 26(4)365-368.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Bolda M. 2009. Various blog entries. Strawberries and Caneberries Web Log [3]