TitleEffect of Erythritol on Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in the Presence of Naturally-Occurring Sugar Sources, and on the Survival of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsChoi, M-Y, Lucas, H, Sagili, R, Cha, DH, Lee, JC
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Start Page981–985
Date Published2018 Nov 28
KeywordsAphis mellifera, Drosophila suzukii, Erythritol, non-nutritive sugar, non-toxic insecticide

Previous studies have demonstrated various combinations of non-nutritive erythritol and sucrose having detrimental effects on Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura). Fly mortality is likely caused by 1) starvation from feeding on non-metabolizable erythritol; and 2) physiological imbalance with abnormally high osmotic pressure in the hemolymph. While erythritol kills D. suzukii in controlled environments, flies in the field can access naturally-occurring sugar sources. We evaluated fly mortality in the presence or absence of wounded fruits, and an erythritol mixture of 2.0 M erythritol:0.5 M sucrose (E+S), or erythritol- and sucrose-only controls. When provided E+S, survival was consistently lower than sucrose controls with/out wounded fruit, suggesting that this mixture still has a detrimental effect in the presence of competing sugar sources. Our second study examined the effects of diet on fecundity and egg load of female D. suzukii. Females laid fewer eggs on blueberries when fed E+S or erythritol-only than sucrose. Unexpectedly, females fed E+S had more ovarial eggs than sucrose-fed females, suggesting that erythritol might inhibit D. suzukii laying eggs. Lastly, we evaluated honey bee survivorship by enclosing bees with one of four diets in a cage. The erythritol mixture had no discernible impact on adult survivorship during 7 d.

PubMed ID30496432