Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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Page 33 of 55

P HO T O C OURTES Y O F D OUG P FE I FF ER , V I R GI NIA TEC H 34 MAY 15, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER nother invasive species of drosophila fly, which can be identified by its "racing stripes," has arrived in the United States with the potential to infest a wide range of crops. The African fig fly (Zaprionus indianus) is native to Africa, the Middle East, and Eurasia, and is now found in much of South and Central America, where it is mainly a pest of figs. It was first found in the United States in 2005 in Florida, where it quickly spread and outcompeted other flies, according to information from Pennsylvania State University. It was noticed in Pennsylvania two years ago when adult flies were caught in apple cider vinegar traps being used to monitor the spotted wing drosophila and in Virginia where it was collected from fruit. Dr. Doug Pfeiffer, entomologist at Virginia Tech, said the African fig fly has been found in Virginia, New England, Michigan, and Minnesota. On the West Coast, it's been seen in San Diego, California, but not yet in the state's fruit-growing districts. Stripes Although the fig fly is from the drosophilid family, it can easily be distinguished from spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) and the vinegar fly (Drosophila melangaster) by a pair of silvery white stripes that run the length of its body. It is also slightly larger. Because of the stripes, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has nicknamed it the speed racer fly. New pest has RACING STRIPES The African fig fly, a relative of the spotted wing drosophila, is bigger and more competitive. by Geraldine Warner

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