Reproduction and Life History
Under laboratory conditions, typically a temperature of 25C and a relatively high humidity, D. melanogaster has a life cycle of 10 days. There are three larval instars, and this is the period of development in which all growth occurs.
This times spent in the three major stages are:
- Embryonic development: 24h.
- Larval development: 96h.
- Pupal development: 96-120h.
Adult flies typically emerge according to a circadian rhythm and females are unreceptive to the attention of males for about the first 8-10 hours of their lives. This is of great practical importance, because it means that flies separated by their sex during this period will be virgin and can be used in controlled crosses.
Under "typical" laboratory conditions the life span of D. melanogaster is 45-60 days. There have been very extensive studies of the environmental and genetic influences on life span and this species is extensively used for studies of aging, see reference  for a recent review of the literature.
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