Spotted wing drosophila in high elevation and culturally significant Vaccinium species in southwest Washington State and northwest Oregon
The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), is a recently introduced pest of commercial Vaccinium species. In 2013, multiple reports of 'wormy' berries from wild harvest pickers were investigated at high elevation huckleberry picking fields in the Indian Heaven Wilderness Area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of Washington State, United States of America. Fields in production were a mixture of Vaccinium ovalifolium, V. deliciosum, and V. membranaceum. Beginning in 2013, locations in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington State, and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon were sampled for the presence of adult D. suzukii flies in wild harvest huckleberry fields of varied elevations using baited traps. Fruit samples were collected 2013, 2014 and 2015 each year to determine the successful colonization of huckleberries at a range of elevations. Twenty-nine berry collections were investigated for D. suzukii infested fruit at elevations ranging from 916 m to 1550 m a.s.l. In 2014, seven huckleberry sites were trapped for adults at elevations ranging from 610 and 1377 m. Adults were collected in baited traps from all locations sampled, including the highest elevation sampled (1377 m). Adults were also reared out of huckleberries from 18 samples including the highest sampled elevation (1570 m). In 2013, 47% of the caged berries were infested at 907 m elevation and 18% at 1570 m. These high infestation rates were recorded in extremely productive huckleberry picking fields that have been harvested for thousands of years by humans and are both a significant economic and cultural resource for Pacific Northwest Native American Tribes. These Vaccinium species are also an important food resource for a number of wildlife species.
Murray, T.A., Aflitto, N.C., Shearer, P.W. and Castagnoli, S.P. (2017). Spotted wing drosophila in high elevation and culturally significant Vaccinium species in southwest Washington State and northwest Oregon. Acta Hortic. 1180, 479-484
Vaccinium ovalifolium, Vaccinium membranaceum, Vaccinium deliciosum, Drosophila suzukii