Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 91–102 | Cite as

Electropenetrography of spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) on pesticide-treated strawberry

  • Raul Narciso C. GuedesEmail author
  • Felix A. Cervantes
  • Elaine A. Backus
  • Spencer S. Walse
Original Paper


Many behaviors are associated with host selection by arthropod pests. The treatment of a host, such as with a pesticide, may impact behaviors involved in this selection whose understanding yields opportunities for pest management. AC–DC electropenetrography (EPG) allows real-time monitoring of insect behaviors, but its use has emphasized feeding activities of hemipteroid insects. Recent improvement in electropenetrography (AC–DC) has made it amenable for use with non-hemipteroid species, such as the invasive spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). Therefore, AC–DC EPG was used for the first quantitative study of a non-hemipteroid insect to monitor behaviors of spotted wing drosophila on strawberry fruits treated with either the fungicide fenhexamid or the insecticide spinetoram, in addition to a non-treated control. EPG was used to characterize three behavioral phases of the insect: non-probing (i.e., resting, grooming, and walking), feeding, and egg-laying. The first two phases were affected by sublethal pesticide exposure, but egg-laying was not. Both pesticides decreased the number of non-probing events, but increased their overall durations, while the opposite took place with feeding, especially in spinetoram-treated strawberry. Regarding feeding activity, both pesticides compromised insect dabbing and ingestion with particularly strong impairment by spinetoram, which also compromised how long the females survived (i.e., longevity). EPG revealed valuable insights regarding the behavioral assessment of pesticide-treated hosts by an insect pest. Specifically, the feeding of female of spotted wing drosophila was significantly impaired on strawberries treated with spinetoram compromising female longevity. Though deserving further attention, the fungicide fenhexamid exhibited a relatively mild effect on feeding, but did not affect adult longevity.


Fruit fly Feeding behavior Electrical penetration graph Spynosins Spinetoram Fenhexamid 



Financial support was provided by the CAPES Foundation (Brazilian Ministry of Education; Finance Code 001) and USDA-ARS, which was greatly appreciated. The research was also supported in part by an appointment to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Participation Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) under DOE contract number DE-SC0014664. All opinions expressed in this paper are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the policies and views of CAPES, USDA, ARS, DOE, or ORAU/ORISE. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were considered in the present study.

Informed consent

The authors of this manuscript accept that the paper is submitted for publication in the Journal of Pest Science, and report that this paper has not been published or accepted for publication in another journal, nor is under consider at another journal.


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© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USDA-ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences CenterParlierUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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