The marking of Drosophila suzukii
can be an important instrument for studying the ecology and behaviour of this economically important fruit pest, aiding the development of new Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools or strategies. There is, however, a need for a cost-effective methodology that provides an easily detectable and stable mark. Whereas fluorescent pigment powders are often used in entomological research, the pigments (series, dyes), application techniques, or doses need to be evaluated for each studied species in terms of their efficacy and possible adverse effects on the performance of the insect. The effectiveness of different application techniques and dyes (RadGlo®
TP-series) and their effect on the survival of adult D. suzukii
were investigated in the laboratory. Furthermore, the influence of the marking on the behaviour of the flies was examined in laboratory trap assays (olfaction) and a field recapture study (general orientation). The persistence and detectability of the marks was evaluated both on living flies (for different application techniques) and dead flies under trapping/storage conditions. The use of fluorescent powders to mark D. suzukii
flies yielded a clearly detectable and highly persistent mark, without any adverse effects on the survival and behaviour of the flies.
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