How to identify spotted wing drosophila

Discover the distinctive characteristics specific to SWD and identify this invasive pest

Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), looks like its fruit fly relative, the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). Still, there are some distinctive characteristics that are specific to spotted wing drosophila (SWD).

Drosophila larvae cannot be identified to species. Only adults are identifiable. Most of these characteristics can be seen with the naked eye, but a hand lens is useful.

Our video aims to help explain how to identify SWD more easily:

Characteristics of SWD

The males have a large spot along the front edge of each wing and two dark sex combs on the forelegs.


The female can be recognised by its unusual serrated ovipositor, which allows it to penetrate the skin of fruit.


Further information

Further information is included in AHDB Factsheet 06/17 'Management and control of spotted wing drosophila'

Meet the team

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Scott Raffle

Knowledge Exchange Manager - Horticulture (Fruit)

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