Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive pest recently reported in Europe whose spread into new areas has caused severe economic damage to many agricultural crops. There are serious concerns about the currently available chemical insecticides because of their low efficacy in controlling the species and their environmental impact; so, several studies have focused on environmentally safe strategies. The sterile insect technique (SIT), which requires colony maintenance in laboratory and production of large numbers of live animals, can be utilized in pest management programs and could be integrated with other control strategies if the potential risks associated with the rearing and maintenance of the insect line under laboratory conditions are given sufficient attention. In this regard, the ability to cryobiologically preserve such stocks would be of substantial value. Important prerequisites for long-term cryopreservation are determination of the embryonic stages, identification of specific embryonic stages, and knowledge of development time. This paper describes the main visible markers for the different stages of embryonic development and determines the timing of development at 25°C. D. suzukii embryogenesis lasts 23–25 h at 25°C and can be divided into 17 stages defined by specific morphological markers. The point at which 50% of embryos are at Stage 14 and 50% are at Stage 15, the most tolerant stages for cryopreservation treatment, as ascertained for Drosophila melanogaster Meigen in prior studies, is reached in 14–15 h. The efficiency of this procedure might be impaired by the retention of eggs in the oviducts, making it impossible to determine the stage of embryonic development for ∼25% of laid eggs.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4