Effect of entomopathogenic nematodes on different developmental stages of Drosophila suzukii in and outside fruits
Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a harmful invasive fruit pest, which is currently spreading in Europe. Since its arrival in 2008, the spotted wing drosophila has caused major losses in several soft-skinned fruit crops. This critical situation urgently requires efficient practices of residue-free pest control. In the present laboratory study, entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) were investigated for their ability to infect larvae and pupae of D. suzukii within directly sprayed fruit, fruit placed on soil, and soil. Steinernema feltiae Filipjev (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), and Steinernema carpocapsae Weiser (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) were more efficient at infecting soil-pupating host larvae than Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) at application rates ranging from 25 to 400 EPN cm-2. Applied as a soil drench, S. feltiae and S. carpocapsae were able to infect D. suzukii larvae in the soil as well as hidden inside fruit. Direct application of EPNs on the fruit was less successful, although emergence of flies was significantly reduced.
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