The invasive spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) is a devastating pest in berry, stone fruit and grape crops. A natural antagonist from the fruit fly’s area of origin in East Asia is now due to be released in Switzerland for the first time by Agroscope and CABI. The experimental releases in the Cantons of Jura and Ticino aim to clarify whether this parasitic wasp can become established in Switzerland to regulate the SWD population and reduce production losses.2023-09-04 14:45:23
The spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) is a devastating pest in berry, stone fruit, and grape crops. An experimental release will take place in Switzerland to introduce a natural antagonist, a parasitic wasp called Ganaspis brasiliensis, from the fruit fly's area of origin in East Asia.
The aim is to regulate the SWD population and reduce production losses. The SWD, originally from East Asia, has been recognized as an invasive pest in North America and Europe since 2008.
Its presence was first detected in Switzerland in 2011. It causes major economic damage in Swiss agriculture by laying eggs in undamaged ripening fruit, rendering it unfit for sale.
Between 800 and 1000 adult parasitic wasps will be released near SWD-infested fruit in the Cantons of Jura and Ticino. The wasps will parasitize the larvae of the pest, causing their death.
Researchers will monitor the area to determine if the parasitic wasp can become established in Switzerland and serve as a natural counterbalance to SWD. The goal is to reduce the SWD population and agricultural damage without additional use of plant-protection products.
This release is unique because Ganaspis brasiliensis is not yet present in Switzerland, making it the first exotic beneficial insect to be released for biological pest control in the country. Previous research has shown the effectiveness of this parasitic wasp in other countries, such as Italy, the USA, and France.
The release is a result of years of studies on biosafety to ensure that Ganaspis brasiliensis will not negatively impact native species. An experimental release permit has been approved for Agroscope by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment..
(Quelle:Swiss Federal Council modified with ChatGPT)
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