Augmentorium: a sustainable technique for conservation biological control of Drosophila suzukii
Abstract: Sanitation of field crops by means of removal and bagging infested fruits is a
recommended management practice to reduce risk of infestation by Drosophila suzukii.
However, infested fruits could be recycled into the augmentorium, a technique that aims to
sequester adult flies while allowing the parasitoids to escape, thus facilitating biological control through conservation of natural enemies. For this purpose, we designed a prototype of augmentorium adapted to D. suzukii and its parasitoids complex. Performance and efficiency of the augmentorium were evaluated with some preliminary field trials, highlighting the suitability of the technique to sustain all the major indigenous pupal parasitoids. Furthermore, our field analysis revealed that functioning of augmentorium may be extended by coupling this technique with releases of Trichopria drosophilae. Augmentorium may become a practical tool adopted by growers for the conservation of Drosophila parasitoids with the purpose of an agroecological crop protection.