Fruit Flies

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Fruit fly definition.
Species: Diptera
Order: Flies
Family: Drosophilidae
The technical name for the fruit fly is Drosophila melanogaster with another common name being the vinegar fly. Fruit flies are widely used in biological research as they are easy to care for, quick breeders and lay many eggs. They are model organisms and used to study genetics, physiology, microbial pathogenesis and life history evolution. There is some confusion with the flies that belong to the family Tephritidae that are found in Australia and South Africa that are also called fruitflys. These flies are an economic pest affecting fruit production.
Description.
Fruit flies have very defined, very bright, red eyes with a body that is a yellow brown colour along with black rings running around their abdomen. Females grow to about 2.5 mm, while males tend to be slightly smaller with their abdomens being dark. Males can also be distinguished from females as they have spiky hairs around their reproductive parts.
 
Life-cycle.
A fruit flies life-cycle is dependent on temperature and controls the species development time. At 28 C. It can take around seven days for an egg to reach an adult. As a result of heat stress the time increases with higher temperatures, such as 30 C, taking 11 days to mature from an egg. At 12C. It can take over 50 days for an egg to mature into an adult. Development time also increases when conditions are crowded also resulting in the flies being smaller. Female fruit flies will lay five eggs at a time with a total of 400 being laid. Eggs are laid in rotting fruit, decaying mushrooms and sap fluxes. The eggs laid measure 0.5 mm in length. At 25 C. Eggs will hatch in between 12 to 15 hours. At the same temperature the larva will grow for four days and will moult twice with the first time being at about 24 hours after hatching and the second at 48 hours. During their time as larva they will feed on the fruits sugars and the microorganisms that decompose the fruit. The larva will then spend four days pupating and emerge as adults. Once adults, females After 8 to 12 hours will take notice of males courting. Males like sex to last as long as possible while females prefer it to be as short as possible. A males courtship consists of five behavioural patterns with the first being a song played using their wings vibrating horizontally. Following this the male will position himself at the rear of the female and became tapping and licking the females genitalia. The male will then attempt to mate by curling up his abdomen for copulation. He can be rejected by the female moving away and possibly kicking him as she does so. If all goes well copulation will last between 15 to 20 min. During this time the male will transfer hundreds of very long sperm cells to the female in seminal fluid. The sperm cells can be as long as 1.76 mm. The female will store the sperm in tubular receptacles and will mate a few times. The last male to mate with the female is likely to father 80% of the offspring.
Eyes and vision.
Fruit flies are among the insects that have the most advanced eyes. There compound eyes contain 760 units or ommatidia. Each eye unit contains eight photoreceptor cells, pigment cells, support cells and the cornea. The red pigment cells are used to absorb blue light preventing the flight being blinded by ambient light.
 
Flight.
Fruit flies wings can beat up to 220 times per second, allowing them to fly in straight lines with rapid terms that are called saccades were fly is able to rotate 90 in as little as 50 milliseconds.
 
How to prevent bother from fruit flies.
The first thing you should do is make sure there are no food sources available to fruit flies. If the fruit flies have no food they will not bother you and go elsewhere. Make sure your fruit and veg are clean before storing them. Vegetables should be stored in your refrigerator along with fruit if they will fit. If fruit is to be left out, Make sure they are in a bowl that can be covered. Fruit that is overripe or rotten that is left out is a huge invitation to fruit flies, so chuck it away. Keep bottle top areas and source caps clean and if possible, stored in your fridge. It may be a good idea to have a bin in your kitchen that has a lid that closes tightly. This will help keep the smell of rotting food shut away so that it does not attract fruit flies. Avoid having dirty dishes around your home as this will also attract fruit flies. Make sure sponges and dishcloths are cleaned regularly as a warm, damp sponge or dishcloth is a great home for fruit flies.
By keeping your kitchen in a clean condition, this will help prevent fruit flies from being a problem.
Fruit flies prevention and removal.
There are numerous ways of catching fruit flies that can be accomplished using household things. A very easy trap to make is a bowl trap. Using a bowl, place a piece of old fruit inside the bowl with either a drop of wine or balsamic vinegar. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap very tightly and without wrinkles. Then generously poke holes in the plastic wrap with a fork, so that the smell can come out and attract fruit flies. The fruit flies will then make their way through the tiny holes and get trapped inside the bowl where they will possibly die or so that you can release them.
If you have a continuing problem with fruit flies you may like to consider door and window screens.

Facts and interesting information about Fruit Flies. Things you should know about Fruit Flies and the problems they may cause. How to prevent Fruit Flies from being a problem to you and your family. Hints and tips on how to prevent Fruit Flies from being a problem. Pest control and prevention is very important with flying insects as it is easy for them to get to you, make sure you take the correct actions to keep your self and loved ones safe.

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