[Market-farming] Fly Pests in VA

Marlin Burkholder burkholders at glenecofarm.com
Sat Sep 1 21:51:49 EDT 2012

Well, the entomologist and a graduate student, came to our farm and verified
that we have 100% infestation of drosophila larvae and flies.  Please read
the note below which Dr. Pfeiffer, just sent, since his visit here on

From: Doug Pfeiffer
To: Berry Growers From: Doug Pfeiffer, Fruit Entomologist Sent: September 1,
2012 Hello, everyone: Another new invasive drosophilid?: While investigating
what was suspected to be an infestation of spotted wing drosophila in an
Albemarle County vineyard, we found a block with high numbers of adults of a
different species, Zaprionus indianus, commonly called the fig fruit fly.
While we are just starting to investigate this species, as far as I can tell
it is new to the state.  It is of African origin, but has become established
in Brazil.  In 2005 it was detected in Florida, and in South Carolina in
2007.  Apparently most fruit attacked have already fallen to the ground, but
some fruits are attacked while still on the tree.  The Albemarle infestation
was in a block of Petit Verdot, still on the vine.  When clusters were
examined, many adult fruit flies.  These adults are very characteristically
colored, with silver stripes running along the back, against a
reddish-yellow background. To date, these flies have only been collected in
grape; the host range among other fruit crops grown in Virginia is unknown,
but since there is a strong possibility that other berry crops may be
attacked, I am sending this message.  I will attach a PDF version of the
Pest Alert fact sheet with this message (you will likely have to log into
Scholar in order to find that attachment. Related to our new project on
spotted wing drosophila, we are interested in ANY fruit infestation by
drosophilids, and would be interested in infestations during the harvest
period.  We also need to get a handle on the distribution of this new
species, the fig fruit fly.  If fruit flies are common in the berries, hold
a sticky card near the fruit and tap lightly; flies may be collected in this
way.  Berries with small maggots may also be held in order to rear adults.
Time is of the essence as we approach harvest of this cultivar. More later,


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