Spotted-wing Drosophila Canadian Webinar Series - Highlights

Four webinars, each comprised of 4-6 presentations were held during winter 2016-17. The goal was to share Canadian research and extension activities related to Spotted-wing Drosophila (SWD) biology and management and provide a forum to discuss and identify next steps towards robust sustainable control solutions.

The webinar series was delivered by the national Spotted-wing Drosophila Technical Working Group.

Attendance over the four sessions totaled more than 340 participants from various sectors, including research, the provinces, extension, as well as pest management and farming industries.

Table 1. SWD Monitoring, Outreach and Research in Québec (QC) and Nova Scotia (NS) on December 13, 2016
Presenter Affiliation Presentation topic
Peter Burgess Perennia Incorporated SWD update from Nova Scotia
Debra Moreau Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Kentville, NS Spotted wing Drosophila: Making the case for establishment in Nova Scotia
Jean-Philippe Légaré Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of QC SWD update from Quebec
Annabelle Firley Institute for Research and Development in Agro-environment, QC Sterile insect release technique for Drosophila suzukii: Laboratory results
Table 2. SWD in Tree Fruits and Grapes – Ontario (ON) and British Columbia (BC) Interior on January 24, 2017
Presenter Affiliation Presentation topic
Mitch Pogoda AAFC, Vineland, ON Pest Management Centre's (PMC) Minor Use SWD project updates: tree fruit and grape
Susanna Acheampong BC Ministry of Agriculture, Kelowna BC experience and perspectives on SWD in tree fruit and grapes
Howard Thistlewood AAFC, Summerland (BC) Over-wintering and seasonal dynamics in a cold-winter climate
Hannah Fraser Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Synopsis on the Ontario SWD situation for tender fruit and grapes
Brent J. Sinclair Western University (ON) SWD overwintering physiology and cold tolerance
Table 3. SWD in Berries – Ontario and British Columbia Coastal on February 9, 2017
Presenter Affiliation Presentation topic
Mitch Pogoda AAFC, Vineland (ON) PMC's Minor Use SWD project updates: berry crops
Carolyn Teasdale BC Ministry of Agriculture, Abbotsford SWD in berries: experience and perspective from BC
Tracy Hueppelsheuser BC Ministry of Agriculture, Abbotsford SWD monitoring and pest management projects for berries in BC
Denise Beaton Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs SWD in Berries: experience and perspective from Ontario
Murali Mohan Ayyanath AAFC, Summerland (BC) Insecticide efficacy and resistance in SWD
Table 4. SWD Research and Management – biological and other novel approaches on March 1, 2017
Presenter Affiliation Presentation topic
Kevin Floate AAFC, Lethbridge, Alberta Wolbachia bacteria, effects on insects, and preliminary results for Drosophila suzukii
Joan Cossentine AAFC, Summerland (BC) Impact of microbials on SWD, and can Pachycrepoideus survive spinosad treatments?
Paul Abram AAFC, Agassiz (BC) Parasitoids of SWD in Asia
Justin Renkema and Phanie Bonneau University of Floridaand University of Laval Predators and entomopathogenic nematodes
Boyd Mori AAFC, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Exploiting an innate yeast attraction to  monitor and control D. suzukii
Yvonne Young and Tristan Long Wilfrid Laurier University Nutritional geometry and fitness consequences in SWD

Key highlights

  • Berry crops, including raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries continue to be at high risk from SWD. Some stone fruit, particularly late season cherries and plums are at risk from SWD. Strawberries are at moderate to high risk. Generally early berries escape impact by SWD and mid to late fruit are at high risk.
  • SWD can overwinter in Canada and survives in wild hosts. There are many wild fruit species that SWD utilizes, providing refuge and contributing to population buildup over the season.
  • There is a need for more efficient monitoring systems, including predictive tools like degree day models and guidance on interpretation of the data collected (action thresholds). Though many traps and bait systems have been developed, none is particularly selective or efficient at detecting SWD in a timely way, and these traps generally are not competitive with ripening fruit in attracting the pest.
  • Though progress has been made in pest management tools and approaches, continued work is needed on chemical control, cultural practices, biological control, other novel approaches and integration of tools.
  • An on-line participant feedback survey on the webinars revealed that the webinars were generally viewed as an effective means of sharing information; over 90% of respondents said they learned something new and information was relevant to their situation.
  • It is anticipated that the information shared at this series will support and encourage further studies on SWD biology and management. Some priorities for future action will be identified under the Pest Management Centre's Reduced Risk Strategy for Berry Insect Pests.

For further information please contact the PMC at

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