Drosophila Fruit Flies

Drosophila fruit flies are found all over the world in all types of environments such as deserts, swamps, cities, tropical rainforests, and mountains. Drosophilia consist of over 1500 species and is diverse in behavior, appearance, and breeding. In current literature, Drosophila fruit flies is used interchangeably with Drosophila melanogaster, a popular study species in science.

The genus Drosophila ranges widely in size among the species. While most are around 1/8 of an inch, there are some species that are larger than house flies. Body color ranges from yellow to black, with most having red eyes. Reproduction varies, with some species able to lay 10-20 eggs in one setting and others one able to lay one. After the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on microorganisms and yeast on decaying substrate. Several non-native species have been introduced to new areas when eggs and larvae go unnoticed.

The most well known species of Drosophila fruit flies is D. melanogaster. This particular species has become an invaluable tool to scientists, who have been studying this insect for a century. Genetic heritability is studied in this animal because it has random mutations, such as white eyes or brown wings.

D. melanogaster has a short life cycle of about two weeks, and is able to reproduce quickly in a lab setting which helps to make it a good study subject. Eggs hatch after one day, larvae then molts four times within six days after hatching to form a pupa. An adult Drosophila fruit fly will emerge from the pupa four days later and be fertile the following day. This reproductive cycle has been mapped out constant times in a lab.

Current studies of D. melanogaster are now looking beyond genetics. Recent studies have focused on both developmental and molecular techniques. A valuable member to the science community, in nature D. melanogaster and the other species of Drosophila fruit flies are considered pests in nature. Proper sanitation such as discarding rotting fruit and securing garbage's is necessary to eradicate them from a home environment.