Chemical cues from competitors change the oviposition preference of Drosophila suzukii

Hiroaki Kidera, Kazuo H. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Although Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) infests fresh and ripening fruits, it is attracted to fermented fruits as well. Because fermented fruits attract other flies too, if D. suzukii utilizes fermented fruits as oviposition substrates, competition can be more intense on them. To avoid such competition, D. suzukii may change oviposition preference when particular species of competitor flies are present, but the effect of odor cues associated with competitors on the oviposition preference of D. suzukii is still unknown. To examine such an effect, we investigated the oviposition preference of D. suzukii in the presence of four competitor fly species – Drosophila melanogaster Meigen, Drosophila lutescens Malloch, Drosophila rufa Kikkawa & Peng, and Drosophila auraria Peng – and D. suzukii itself. We prepared artificial substrates with yeast treatment (Y+: yeast supplementation, Y: control) and competitor fly treatment (F+: pre-inoculated with competitor fly odor, F: control), and performed two-choice experiments using the substrates with various Y and F treatments. Our results showed that D. suzukii oviposited more eggs on Y+ substrates than on Y substrates when no competitor flies were present and the presence of competitor flies influenced D. suzukii’s oviposition preference for yeast-supplemented substrates and its effect changed depending on the competitor fly species. If the presence of competitors around fallen fruits on the ground suppresses D. suzukii’s oviposition on the fallen fruits and facilitates the oviposition on non-fermenting substrates in nature, it may drive D. suzukii to use ripening fruits on the tree. Such selective pressure may facilitate the evolution of morphological traits such as a serrated ovipositor in D. suzukii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Diptera
  • Drosophilidae
  • interspecific competition
  • intraspecific competition
  • kairomones
  • pheromones
  • spotted wing Drosophila

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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