Here is the List of 7 Fascinating Facts About Fruit Flies!

1. Fruit flies love to get drunk! In an experiment carried out by scientist, it was found, that when rejected by females and given a choice between food and alcohol, male fruit flies would choose alcohol. Under the influence of alcohol, the flies show behavior typical as seen during alcohol consumption such as loss of balance while walking and poor judgement. Hence, fruit flies can be used to study the effects of alcohol.

2. Certain mutations that affect the genes involved in the development process of the flies result in flies with unusual characteristics, e.g., antennapedia. In this fly, the genes that are responsible for the formation of the legs, get wrongly expressed which leads to the formation of the legs in the place where the antenna is supposed to be.

3. The most common eye colour of fruit flies is red. But there are various other eye colours that it can have including white, dark brown, orange, scarlet, yellow etc. These different eye colours help distinguish flies during some genetic experiments.

Drosophila melanogaster
Image by By Sanjay Acharya

4. In crowded laboratory conditions, it has been found that fruit fly larvae show cannibalism, wherein they pursue each other, tear them apart and consume the larvae almost completely. In certain conditions, the fruit covers their eggs with odour molecules that hide the smell and hence protect the eggs from cannibalism.

5. There is a genetically created strain of flies with curly wings. These wigs are straight at temperatures below 30 ̊C while they become curled up at temperatures above that.

 

Read about Fruit flies – Tiny Fly, Mighty Wonder

 

6. The wings of Drosophila beat up to 250  times per second!

7. Many of the genes found in fruit flies have been names very funnily or interestingly by scientists, e.g, the “I’m not dead yet’ or INDY gene for longevity, “Halloween gene’ that results in a spooky external appearance of the fly, “clown gene’ wherein the eyes get coloured with red and white in a mosaic pattern, etc.

This is the List of 7 Fascinating Facts About Fruit Flies!

 

Start Your Own Fruit Fly Culture at Home

 

References

https://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Drosophila_melanogaster

https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/why-use-the-fly-in-research

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/88228/15-fascinating-facts-about-fruit-flies

http://modencode.sciencemag.org/drosophila/introduction

 

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About Author

Saunri Dhodi Lobo is pursuing M.Sc in Life Sciences with specialization in Neurobiology. Her interests include writing poetry, going for nature walks and swimming. Currently she is involved in research on Alzheimer’s Disease in fruit flies.

Read all Articles by Saunri Dhodi Lobo

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