Overview

Comprehensive Description

Tephretidae, Drosophilidae (Fruit Flies)
These small, delicate-looking tan or brown flies occasionally suck nectar from flowers, but they are more likely to visit rotting fruit or fermenting sap. They are insignificant pollinators of flowers. The larvae feed on fruit, and can become a nuisance in orchards.

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Ecology

Associations

Known prey organisms

Drosophilidae (drosophilids) preys on:
Mammalia

Based on studies in:
Costa Rica (Carrion substrate)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • L. F. Jiron and V. M. Cartin, 1981. Insect succession in the decomposition of a mammal in Costa Rica. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 89:158-165, from p. 163.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:9,761Public Records:2,729
Specimens with Sequences:9,180Public Species:523
Specimens with Barcodes:8,660Public BINs:334
Species:848         
Species With Barcodes:730         
          
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Barcode data

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Drosophilidae

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Wikipedia

Drosophilidae

Drosophilidae is a diverse, cosmopolitan family of flies, which includes fruit flies. Another family of flies called Tephritidae also includes fruit flies. The best known species of Drosophilidae is Drosophila melanogaster, within the genus Drosophila, and this species is used extensively for studies concerning genetics, development, physiology, ecology and behaviour. This fruit fly is mostly composed of post-mitotic cells, has a very short lifespan, and shows gradual aging. As in other species, temperature influences the life history of the animal. Several genes have been identified that can be manipulated to extend the lifespan of these insects.

Economic significance[edit]

Generally, drosophilids are considered nuisance flies rather than pests, since most species breed in rotting material. Zaprionus indianus Gupta is unusual among Drosophilidae species in being a serious, primary pest of at least one commercial fruit, figs in Brazil.[1] Another species, Drosophila suzukii, infests thin-skinned fruit such as raspberries and cherries and can be a serious agricultural pest.[2] Drosophila repleta larvae inhabit drains and spread bacteria. Fruitflies in general are considered as a common vector in propagating acetic acid bacteria[3] in nature. This often ruins the alcohol fermentation process and can ruin beer or wine by turning it into vinegar.

Identification[edit]

The diagnostic characters for Drosophilidae include the presence of an incomplete subcostal vein, two breaks in the costal vein, and a small anal cell in the wing; convergent postocellar bristles; and usually three frontal bristles on each side of the head, one directed forward and the other two directed rearward. More extensive identification characteristics can be found in "Drosophila: A Guide to Species Identification and Use" by Therese A. Markow and Patrick O'Grady, (Academic Press, 2005) ISBN 0-12-473052-3 or "Drosophila: A Laboratory Handbook" by M. Ashburner, K. Golic, S. Hawley, (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2005).

Behavior[edit]

When the flies see female larval endoparasitoid wasps, they switch to laying their eggs in rotting fruit that contains alcohol; which protects them from becoming host to the larvae, as the wasps have a low alcohol tolerance.[4]

Phylogeny[edit]

The family contains more than 4,000 species classified under 75 genera. Recently, a comprehensive phylogenetic classification of the genera based on both molecular and morphological characters has been published.[5]

Gallery[edit]

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