Navigation Links
Drosophila


Drosophila melanogaster
Drosophila subobscura

Drosophila is a genus of small flies whose members are often called small fruit flies, or more appropriately vinegar flies, wine flies, pomace flies, grape flies, and picked fruit-flies. The genus contains about 1000 species. One species in particular, Drosophila melanogaster, has been heavily used in research in genetics and is a common model organism in developmental biology. Indeed, the terms "fruit fly" and "Drosophila" are often used synonymously with D. melanogaster in modern biological literature. This article however deals with the whole genus.

Contents

Name

The term "Drosophila" is a modern scientific Latin adaptation from Greek δρόσος, drsos, "dew", + φίλος, phlos, "loving" + Latin feminine suffix -a.

Physique

Typically, the small, two-winged flies of the genus Drosophila are an orange-brown color and range approximately from 3.2 mm to 4.2 mm in length. Most species have red eyes. The feathered arista is characteristic of the family.

Male (left) and female fruit flies.

Drosophila is part of the phylum Arthropoda, a phylum of segmented animals with paired, jointed appendages and a hard exoskeleton made of chitin. They have an open circulatory system with a dorsal heart, hemocoel occupies most of the body cavity, and coelom is reduced.

The insect respires by means of air-filled internal tubes, the tracheae. This ectoderm-derived organ forms a highly branched tubular network which provides the organs with oxygen.

Lifecycle and ecology

Habitat

Drosophila is found primarily in tropical regions. "The fruit fly, is a cosmopolitan holometabolous insect, that is found in all warm countries, while in cooler regions, it is established by migrants during the summer or can over winter in warm places." (Weigmann, 2003)

They appear on over-ripe fruit in kitchens, they swarm in thousands about the residue produced by the pressing of grapes or apples for wine. They nibble on marmalade and other preserves, and wherever vinegar is standing open, they are there.

Adult flies as well as larvae feed on the fruit juices and the yeast growing on rotting fruit. Most eggs live inside of the fruit along the peel of the fruit. "Some feed on other decaying organic matter or on plant exudations; a few are leaf miners, parasites, or predators." (Swan, 1972)

Reproduction

Drosophila melanogaster egg

"The female fruit fly lays batches of between 15 and 20 white eggs each day." (Burton) A female lays up to 2000 pearly white eggs, each with a pair of “wings” or respiratory “horns” near the anterior end; the eggs of all known Drosophila have one or more of these horns, the tips of which extend above the surface of the moist media in which the eggs develop.

Predators

One predator is the orchid mantis which feeds on free living insects, primarily fruit flies.

External links

  • Fruit Flies in Space NASA-supported researchers are going to send fruit flies to the International Space Station to learn what space travel does to the genes of astronauts

References

  1. Burton, Maurice. "Fruit Fly." International Wildlife Encyclopedia. 2002 ed.
  2. Freeman, Scott. Biological Science. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2002.
  3. "Pomace Flies". Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, First Edition, 1969.
  4. Swan, Lester A., and Charles S.Papp. 1972. The Common Insects of North America: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, Toronto. pp. 629
  5. Weigmann, K., Klapper, R., Strasser, T., Rickert, C., Teachnau, G.M., Jackle, H., Janning, W. and Klambt, C. (2003). FlyMove- A new way to look at development of Drosophila. pp. 19,310-311.


'"/>


(Date:9/17/2014)... 2014) A rare genetic disorder known as Jacobsen syndrome ... joint investigation by researchers at San Diego State University ... to suggesting better treatment options for people with Jacobsen ... genetic underpinnings of autism., Jacobsen syndrome affects approximately 1 ... Health. It occurs in a person when there is ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted ... of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained ... today,s Iberian pig. Researchers also discard the hypothesis that ... The study, published in Heredity , sheds new ... on that of the Iberian breed, considered to be ...
(Date:9/17/2014)... decline, grasses have returned to some once-denuded patches of ... those places seems healthy again, but a new study ... coastal protection remains diminished. , "We,ve got ... back," said ecologist Mark Bertness, professor of biology at ... journal Biological Conservation . "The metric of a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):A link between Jacobsen syndrome and autism 2Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after 5 centuries 2Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short 2Cape Cod saltmarsh recovery looks good, falls short 3
... importance of the world,s natural assets is now firmly on ... showcasing the enormous economic value of forests, freshwater, soils and ... of their loss, was the conclusion of The Economics of ... leader, Pavan Sukhdev. "TEEB has documented not ...
... they have solved an interesting problem: how to get ... complete vegetable protein. What,s more, they,ve joined forces with ... snack they,ve developed into the hands of 1.2 million ... country has decidedly vegetarian tastes, the Indian people just ...
... 19, 2010In response to a study regarding fish oil ... of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), ... association for the dietary supplement industry, reminds pregnant and ... recommended amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) throughout pregnancy. This ...
Cached Biology News:TEEB report puts world's natural assets on the global political radar 2TEEB report puts world's natural assets on the global political radar 3TEEB report puts world's natural assets on the global political radar 4TEEB report puts world's natural assets on the global political radar 5TEEB report puts world's natural assets on the global political radar 6Illinois scientists promote soy by currying favor with Indian taste buds 2CRN responds to JAMA fish oil study 2CRN responds to JAMA fish oil study 3
Other biology definitionOther Tags