Drosophila suzukii Matsumura, often called spotted wing drosophila, is an exotic vinegar fly that is native to Southeast Asia and was first detected in the continental United States in 2008. Previous modeling studies have suggested that D. suzukii might not survive in portions of the northern United States or southern Canada due to the effects of cold. As a result, we measured two aspects of insect cold tolerance, the supercooling point and lower lethal temperature, for D. suzukii summer-morph pupae and adults and winter-morph adults. Supercooling points were compared to adults of Drosophila melanogaster Meigen. The lower lethal temperature of D. suzukii winter-morph adults was significantly colder than that for D. suzukii summer-morph adults, while supercooling points of D. suzukii winter-morph adults were actually warmer than that for D. suzukii summer-morph adults and pupae. D. suzukii summer-morph adult supercooling points were not significantly different than those for D. melanogaster adults. These measures indicate that D. suzukii is a chill intolerant insect, and winter-morph adults are the most cold-tolerant life stage. These results can be used to improve predictions of where D. suzukii might be able to establish overwintering populations and cause extensive damage to spring fruit crops.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6