Invasive Species

The cherry vinegar fly

The cherry vinegar fly is originally native to Southeast Asia and has also spread to China, USA and Europe in the last 100 years © wikimedia / M. Hauser

As a free rider in international trade or as a result of climate change, the spread of introduced or naturally immigrating species is sometimes explosive. A popular example is the cherry vinegar fly (Drosophila suzukii).

Originally from Asia, this fly has become a major threat to European fruit and wine growing within a few years. According to scientists from the Julius Kühn Institute (Dossenheim/Siebeldingen), the cherry vinegar fly is a polyphagous harmful organism that infests an enormous number of wild and cultivated fruits. All soft-shelled fruit species are particularly susceptible to attack: cherry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, plum, peach, apricot, nectarine, gooseberry, currant, fig. Furthermore the Sharon fruit (persimmon), perennial kiwi, dogwood, elderberries and mistletoe. Apples and Nashi pears are only attacked by the cherry vinegar fly if the skin has already been damaged. In the case of table grapes and grapes for wine, there are great differences between the varieties. White wine varieties are hardly attacked, among the red ones e.g. Acolon, Regent, Dornfelder, Trollinger. The health of the berries plays an important role.

The cherry vinegar fly has a high propagation potential due to its short development cycle. In Germany it was first detected in 2011. Since 2014, it has already been widely distributed here. The preferential infestation of ripening and ripe fruits makes its control particularly difficult.

Further Information on the cherry vinegar fly

The maggots of the cherry vinegar fly cause considerable economic damage in cherry cultivation © H. Vogt / JKI

The Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) provides extensive and detailed information on the occurrence and control of the cherry vinegar fly in its "knowledge portal".

Learn more on the site:

Other invasive insect species

Examples of other prominent insect species that have immigrated to Germany in recent years:

  • Asian ladybird (Harmonia axyridis)
  • Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
  • Marbled tree bug (Halyomorpha halys)
  • Horse chestnut leaf miner moth (Cameraria ohridella)
  • European box borer (Cydalima perspectalis)