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National spotted wing Drosophila monitoring programme

Michael Gaffney, David Brogan

Industry impact: The Irish soft fruit sector is one of the most valuable in Irish horticulture. Since 2015 Teagasc, in collaboration with UCD, the Irish soft fruit industry and Bord Bia, have been conducting on-farm monitoring for the invasive fruit fly Drosophila suzukii, or spotted wing Drosophila. D. suzukii, originally from southeast Asia, has become the major pest of soft and stone fruit worldwide in the last decade. D. suzukii damages fruit during the ripening and ripe stages, in contrast with other Drosophila species that damage only over-ripe fruit. In 2018, 17 commercial farms were submitting weekly samples to Teagasc. The information collected has been essential in providing both a national overview on the spread of this commercially important invasive pest; and also providing growers with specific information on their farm. The data generated has been essential to support changes in crop management to reduce the impact of this pest, as well as the temporary registration of new control options. Significant research efforts are ongoing to address spotted wing Drosophila globally. The monitoring programme has allowed us to fully participate in and map international best practice to Irish conditions and allow mitigation measures to be evaluated more quickly.

Correspondence: michael.gaffney@teagasc.ie

Contribution of non-research stakeholders:

Eamonn Kehoe, Teagasc Soft Fruit Advisor and the Irish Soft Fruit Growers’ Association.

Other contributors and collaborators:

Jan Robert Baars (UCD).

Funding: Co-funded by participating Irish soft fruit growers, Bord Bia and Teagasc grant-in-aid.