Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Small creatures of great importance

Fruit flies, Drosophila, are small insects that, as their name implies, often are found in and feed on fruits, although they like other foods, too. They prefer to eat matter that is decaying or fermenting, and most varieties are fairly tiny. They are found around the globe and reproduce extremely quickly, which has given them a significant role in research despite their reputation as a nuisance. Many varieties get into buildings simply by finding small cracks and holes to slip through, but they also get transported from place to place in less-than-ideal produce. People typically can get them under control by keeping homes free of rotting items and by using homemade or purchased traps.

One of the ways to distinguish between fruit fly males and females is to look at the color of the abdomen. A fly's abdomen is made up of many different segments. On a male fly, the last two segments of the abdomen are much darker than the female. The male fruit flies have thick black bands, whereas the females tend to have one darker band on the bottom with a lighter band on top of that.

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