Drosophilidae

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Drosophilidae
Drosophila sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Brachycera
Section: Schizophora
Subsection: Acalyptratae
Superfamily: Ephydroidea
Family: Drosophilidae
Róndani, 1856
Subfamily

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]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pest Alerts - Zaprionus indianus Gupta, DPI". Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  2. ^ Drosophila suzukii Center of Invasive Species Research
  3. ^ Vinegars of the World. Chapter 5. ISBN 978-88-470-0865-6
  4. ^ Kacsoh BZ; Lynch ZR; Mortimer NT; Schlenke TA (Feb 2013). "fruit flies medicate offspring after seeing parasites". Science 339: 947–950. doi:10.1126/science.1229625. 
  5. ^ Yassin, Amir (2013) "Phylogenetic classification of the Drosophilidae Rondani (Diptera): the role of morphology in the post-genomic era". Systematic Entomology 38(2): 349-364