Genus “Drosophila” is the genus name for what we call “fruit flies” or, sometimes pomace, vinegar, or wine flies, which speaks to their propensity–in the case of many species–for hanging around and feeding on overripe or rotting fruit. The entire genus, however, contains more than 1,500 species and is very diverse in appearance, behavior, and breeding habitat. The larvae of at least one species, Drosophila suzukii, which in Maine we know primarily by the name of Spotted Wing Drosophila or SWD for short, is a newly introduced species from Asia that can also feed in fresh fruit and has quickly become a major threat to soft-skinned fruits throughout most of the state.
Additional Resources & Photos:
- Fruit Flies Fact Sheet (Iowa State University)
- Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) (University of New Hampshire)
- Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) (Michigan State University)
- Highmoor Farm’s Spotted Wing Drosophila page (includes good photos) (University of Maine Cooperative Extension)