Explorative data analysis of Drosophila suzukii trap catches from a seven-year monitoring program in Southwest Germany
Over the last decade, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, an invasive pest of soft-skinned fruits, gradually established itself in Europe, often resulting in significant economic losses. In 2011, when D. suzukii was first described for Germany, the Julius Kühn Institut (JKI) started a monitoring program in southwest Germany to study the occurrence and activity of the fly. Capture data from late 2011–early 2018 from 100 traps were analyzed for the effect of weather and immediate habitat on trap captures at different times of the year. We identified five phases in the annual population development cycle of D. suzukii. We found that the mild winter of 2013/2014 helped the thorough establishment of D. suzukii in Germany. Habitat types in the immediate vicinity of the trap and local weather conditions had a strong influence on trap captures. Forest borders and hedges were found to provide adequate overwintering shelter for the flies. Trap captures in forests and hedges were generally higher than those of vineyards and orchards, even during the fruiting seasons. Summer capture rates were correlated with the number of heat days and precipitation. We also discuss briefly the limitations of using trap captures as representative of fly density in the field.