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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346528

Research Project: Production and Disease and Pest Management of Horticultural Crops

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Laboratory assessment of erythritol derivatives on the survival and reproductive rate of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae)

item Sampson, Blair
item Easson, Michael
item Stringer, Stephen
item Werle, Christopher
item Magee, Daniel
item Adamczyk, John

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2018
Publication Date: 10/1/2018
Citation: Sampson, B.J., Easson, M.W., Stringer, S.J., Werle, C.T., Magee, D., Adamczyk Jr, J.J. 2018. Laboratory assessment of erythritol derivatives on the survival and reproductive rate of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 112(1)/173-180.

Interpretive Summary: The Spotted-Winged Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), is a fruit fly from Asia that since entering the United States in 2008 has reduced annual berry yields by 6% – 100%. Weekly insecticide spraying is needed to manage SWD on conventional farms. However, organic berry farmers have no cost-effective means of SWD control. Mesoerythritol, a non-nutritive sweetner offers hope for effective SWD control on organic farms.There are cheaper derivatives of mesoerythritol that we tested, namely the pentaerythritol series: pentaerythritol, dipentaerythritol, and tripentaerythritol. From 90% to 100% of adult SWD died when feeding on food moistened with mesoerythritol and pentaerythritol. Mesoerythritol and dipentaerythritol were effective larvacides that killed about 85% of immature SWD. Mesoerythritol was the most effective compound that prevented flies from reproducing. A combined pentaerythritol and dipentaerythritol is expected to kill about 80% of adults and larvae, but cost ~ 50% - 97% less than applying mesoerythritol.

Technical Abstract: Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is a vinegar fly species native to Asia. Since its accidental introduction into the United States in 2008, this fly has reduced annual berry yields anywhere from 6% – 100%. Controlling the size of D. suzukii populations during harvest requires weekly applications of low-residual insecticides, few of which are available for organic berry farming. The 4-carbon polyol, mesoerythritol (erythritol) is being developed as a potential organic insecticide with 75%-100% efficacy against D. suzukii. However, mesoerythritol could be too expensive as a crop spray. Therefore, we conducted laboratory tests to assess the effects of low cost derivatives of erythritol, namely the pentaerythritol series of 1,3-diols on D. suzukii pupal production, adult production, adult mortality, brood output, and reproductive increase. From 90% to 100% of adult D. suzukii died when feeding on food moistened with 1M solutions of mesoerythritol and pentaerythritol. At 1M concentration, mesoerythritol and dipentaerythritol were ovicidal/larvicidal, killing =85% of immature D. suzukii. Overall, 1M mesoerythritol was the most efficacious test compound and rate; this combination by killing the most insects at all developmental stages also reduced fly population growth to near zero. The heaviest compound of this series, tripentaerythritol, was benign to D. suzukii, and at 0.25M concentration, somewhat increased fly reproduction. Thus, we cannot recommend tripentaerythritol for use as an insecticide targeting D. suzukii. However, a combined 1M pentaerythritol and 1M dipentaerythritol is expected to kill about 80% of adults and larvae, but cost at least 50% less than applying a pure solution containing 1M mesoerythritol.