Monday, May 14, 2012

Small Flies: Drosophilidae

The Drosophilidae is a diverse family of flies that includes fruit flies. The best known species of the  Drosophilidae is the Drosophilia Melanogaster within the genus Drosophilia. It is this species that is used extensively for studies concerning genetics, development, physiology, ecology and behaviour.

These fruit flies have very short lifespans and similar to what is seen in other species, they show a historical influence to temperature. Several genes have been identified that could be manipulated in order to extend their lifespans.

Identifying the Drosophilidae can be done through the incomplete subcoastal vein, two breaks in the coastal vein and a small anal cell in the wing. They also have convergent postcellar bristles; generally three frontal bristles on each side of the head with two facing back and one facing front.

The family is subdivided in two subfamilies, the Drosophilinae and the Steganinae. These two subfamilies do not contain a single morphological character that distinguishes them, however the combination of their characteristics is enough to name each species into the correct subfamily.

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