Seeking a New Pest Solution, UF Scientists Study Fruit Fly’s Gut Bacteria (News Wise)

Seeking a New Pest Solution, UF Scientists Study Fruit Fly’s Gut Bacteria

In the home, they seem to appear out of nowhere. A piece of fruit is placed on the kitchen counter, and suddenly there’s a fruit fly. But the bug commonly referred to as a fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, may more accurately be called a vinegar fly, with an appetite for rotting fruits.

Instead, it’s a cousin, Drosophila suzukii, also known as the spotted wing drosophila, that prefers fresh fruits. And that preference presents a known hazard to fruit producers in Florida and elsewhere, prompting a team of University of Florida researchers to search for novel ways to prevent a future outbreak.

“Once these insects are in a field, they multiply in a matter of a few days,” said Adam Wong, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS department of entomology and nematology who is leading a study involving the fly. “In as few as seven days, they develop from eggs to adults, and the females can lay up to 600 eggs in their lifetime. Plus, they do particularly well in subtropical climates.”

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