Larvae in blackberries

Blackberry    Sintra, Portugal

I´m a blackberry producer and I´ve been notice some larvae in the fruit. I show you a picture. Do you recognize them? Can you help me? Thank you.

Posted by: Joana Oliveira (1 point) Joana Oliveira
Posted: October 4, 2016


Those are likely spotted wing drosophila (SWD; Drosophila suzukii) larvae, an invasive vinegar (fruit) fly which infests ripe and ripening fruit. If your fruit are overripe they could be any species of Drosophila or Tephritid. SWD are the subject of a lot of management research at the moment. I realize my response is several months late but for future seasons, planning is key. Management requires regular insecticide applications (I will have a paper out soon on swd management in blackberry in the SE US), frequent harvest, and often good post-harvest management. We've found that cold storage is quite effective for halting development and/or killing young larvae in berries. There is also research being done of incorporating cultural controls for management in caneberry and blueberries (preliminary info can be found here: http://eorganic.info/spottedwingorganic).

Posted by: Lauren Diepenbrock (4 points) Lauren Diepenbrock
Posted: January 4, 2017

It could be fruit fly damage. Generally the adult female flies lay egg just under the skin of semi ripen fruits. The maggots develop and feed inside the fruit, causing the flesh to turn brown and soft which emits foul smell. This damage also act as entry site for fungal and bacterial pathogens. After maturation, this maggots fall out and pupate in soil.

Collect the infected/fallen fruits and destroy them. Use traps to monitor fruit flies. Normally traps can be purchased in the market or you can prepare one. Take plastic container with lids (one quarts yogurt container is fine). Drill holes (10 to 16 holes) that are 3/16-inch in diameter around the upper side of the container. Add 1 to 2 inch of pure apple cider vinegar (not flavored one) and a drop of unscented liquid dish washing soap into the container. Hang the container in shade near trees before fruits ripening and check the traps frequently for flies. You have to change the vinegar every week.
Also use of netting or floating row covers around the bush helps in preventing infestation. If infestation is severe you can spray suitable insecticide.

Posted by: Dr. Ravishankar Narayana (39 points) Dr. Ravishankar Narayana
Posted: October 4, 2016

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