Phenology and spatial distribution of Spotted-wing Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in lowbush blueberry (Ericaceae) in Ssaguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, Canada.
Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae), the spotted-wing drosophila, is an invasive pest of fruit crops, which appeared in eastern Canada in 2010. It represents a major threat to lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton; Ericaceae) in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, Québec, Canada, at the northern limits of its distribution. The dynamics, overwintering capacity, population fluctuations, and damage to lowbush blueberry of D. suzukii are unknown in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. We aimed to (1) document D. suzukii abundance and phenology in lowbush blueberry in separate localities; (2) evaluate the potential of D. suzukii to overwinter and examine population dynamics over three seasons; and (3) study the spatial distribution of D. suzukii in lowbush blueberry fields with respect to forested borders. Drosophila suzukii is abundant in lowbush blueberry fields of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. In spring, D. suzukii were absent until late June, when few summer-morph females appeared. Drosophila suzukii densities started to increase regularly in August, with increasing male proportions, to culminate in fall at high levels with balanced sex ratios. Overwintering remains uncertain, D. suzukii being undetectable in spring despite intensive trapping. Appearance of diapausing winter morphs at high densities indicates that D. suzukii responds appropriately to local conditions preceding cold winter. Models of variation of D. suzukii densities and lowbush blueberry fruit infestation with distance from borders indicate that forest borders are favoured habitats over lowbush blueberry fields and the source of D. suzukii moving to some extent into lowbush blueberry fields.