Collect Your Own Wild Drosophila and Start Your Own Fruit Fly Culture at Home. Take your first step to becoming a Fruit fly Scientist.
Step 1. Take a bottle and put some rotten banana peels in it.
Step 2. Make a paper funnel with a very tiny opening and place it over the opening of the bottle. Seal the side of the paper funnel with cello tape. Essentially, the flies should be able to go in but not go out.
Step 3. Place these ‘fly traps’ in different locations in your surroundings.
Step 4. Collect these traps at different time point.
Step 5. Prepare other bottles with banana peels, and place individual flies that you have collected.
Step 6. Observe the bottles every day. Not down when you see the larvae and when the pupae appear.
Step 7. Meanwhile, try identifying your wild type caught species using identification from the internet.
Read this to Learn more about Fruit flies – Tiny Fly, Mighty Wonder
Step 8. Note down every hour if your flies are flying, are on the walls of the bottle or on the ground for at least 12 hours. Note this down for a week.
Step 9. Plot a graph of fruit fly activity Vs time of the day. You may be able to see a pattern in their activity across all the days.
Why Should You Start Your Own Fruit Fly Culture
Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit Fly) is called the ‘Cinderella of Genetics’. This is because they have a life cycle of 12 days. This means that it completes it’s entire life stages from hatching from the egg to forming a larva, pupae and then into an adult within 12 days.
Potentially, we could study 24 generations of these flies in a year. This is why they make a very good model to study ‘Experimental Evolution’.
Learn about What makes Drosophila a good model system?
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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