The common fruit fly from India

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Common Fruit Fly

The common fruit fly is part of the Animalia Kingdom, Anthropoda Phylum, and Insecta Class. It is part of the Diptera Order, Drosophilidae Family, and Drosophila Genus. Its scientific name is Drosophila melanogaster. It fully develops through a system called the metamorphorsis that consists of four stages; egg, larva, pupa and adult, just like all the other members of the Order Diptera. It has three body segments and a single pair of wings that are attached at the middle of the thorax.

This fly is found everywhere in the world except in Antarctica. It is native to India, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, but it has spread to almost all temperate regions in the world, and therefore it is not endangered. Its habitats include the temperate, tropical and terrestrial regions and its biomes include the Savanna grasslands, forests, rainforests and scrub forests. The survival of these insects largely depend on the temperatures and moisture as it cannot stand cold temperatures of high altitudes and high latitudes hence the reason why they cannot survive in the cold regions like Antarctica.

They derive their energy from decaying fruits and vegetables. They are considered as herbivores but more often frugivores because they feed more on fruits hence their name (Miller). They belong to the second level in the energy pyramid as they live primarily on plant material, but they also take part in the decomposition of the decaying vegetables. When the females want to lay their eggs, they lay them on fruits and leave them to hatch, when the eggs hatch the larvae will find the fruits almost rotting and this makes the primary source of nutrition for the hatched larva. However, they are considered as pests in some parts of the world because they destroy the fruits by laying eggs on unripe fruits making them rot.

The Common Fruit flies reproduce by laying eggs about 100 per day and 2000 in a lifetime. The male has sex with the females, fertilizes her internal eggs, and she lays the eggs which take between 24 to 30 hours to hatch into maggots which grow into larvae then pupa and become adults in a few days. The females become sexually active within a week, and they only need a single fertilization in her lifetime, thus the males do have multiple sexual partners (Vivek Rohidas Vartak). The sexually active males tend to modify their future experiences after the first by increased selectivity for couring and reducing the courtship times in order to fertilize as many females as possible before other males overtake it.

The fruit flies have a rapid reproduction process to enhance their chances of survival. The female’s early maturity, ability to be fertilized only once and the laying of hundreds of eggs in a single process as well as having an all-year-round fertilization ensures that as many offsprings as possible are reproduced before the parents die. Their eyes are also sensitive to slight movements and hence can instinctively fly away from danger whenever there is any danger (Miller).

Drosophila melanogaster has been mainly used for research by scientists and most biology students because of its similarity in some aspects to humans. It has been severally used a genetic model for several human diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and it's being used to study mechanisms underlying immunity (Samson Chien), cancer and drug abuse among others, thus its importance in research made me prefer this insect.

Works Cited

Miller, C. Animal Diversity web. 2000. 13 November 2017. <http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Drosophila_melanogaster/>.

Samson Chien, Lawrence Relter, Ethan Bler and Michael Gribskov. "Homophila: human disease gene cognates in." Nucleic Acids Reseach 30.1 (2002): 149-151.

Vivek Rohidas Vartak, Vishwanath Varma, Vijay Kumar Sharma. "Effects of polygamy on the activity/rest rhythm of male fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster." The Science of Nature (2015): 102.

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