Drosophila Melanogaster

Or more commonly known as the Fruit Fly

Distinguishing Characters:

Fruit Flies have 3 body parts, the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. The head has two prominent red eyes, a pair of barely perceptible antennae and the mouth parts. Three pairs of legs and a single pair of wings are attached to the thorax, which contains the heart and part of the digestive system. The abdomen contains the remainder of the digestive system and the reproductive structures. Fruit flies are generally yellowish in color with several black bands across the abdomen. Females and males can be readily distinguished by examining their abdomens with a magnifier. In male fruit flies, the tip of the abdomen is rounded and has a broad black band: in females, it is slightly more elongated and has a narrow black band. Also, the abdomen of the female has seven segments, while the male’s has only five.

Life Cycle:

Life Span Of The Fruit Fly:

  • Fruit flies live up to about 40- 50 days in the best temperatures.
  • fruit flies go through 3 stages before becoming adults.

24 hours after the female fruit flies lay their eggs on the fruit, the larva hatch. the larva go through molting stages known as instars where the head, mouth,cuticle, spiracle,hooks are shed. during the last instar the fruit fly crawls into a drier space to pupate. the pupa case is formed from the larva skin and darkens and hardens. the last stage is the pupal stage. 24 hours before the adult fruit fly develops and emerges the pigmentation of the eyes and folded wing become visible through the pupal case called the puparium.


Fruit Fly Habitat:

The fruit fly has been introduced to every continent except Antarctica.

Fruit flies require moist environments as in shown in their name “Drosophila” which means “lover of dew”

Fruit flies cannot survive in colder climates because they are very dependent of temperature and cannot handle color temperatures of high elevations or high latitudes.

This is an ideal habitat for a fruit fly. Notice the warmer temperature and fruit supply.


Fruit flies are attracted to overripe fruits and vegetables so they will swarm kitchens, trashcans, etc. They are primarily nuisance pests and usually infest homes for their habitats.

Food Habits:

Fruit flies are attracted to yeast from decomposing plants. Sap flows, overripe produce, and mushrooms are also in their diet. However, they mostly lay eggs in the overripe fruit and save the food for the babies.


Fruit flies reproduce rapidly. Female fruit flies can lay hundreds of eggs within their short lifetime. The eggs most of the time laid on moist overripe fruit and vegetables. Within 24-30 hours the eggs hatch and feed on the fruit they were laid on.

Genetic Research Use:

Fruit flies are used in genetic research because they share about 75% of the genes that cause disease with humans. Also because their short lifespan makes it possible to evolve many generations in a short time.

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