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Drosophilidae - Fruitflies

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Classification

BRACHYCERA, Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae, Ephydroidea

Number of British species: 59

Size: S

Difficulty: 2-3 Scheme

Characters

Minute to medium sized (1.5-7 mm) flies, dull or lustrous with body colour varying from yellow to brownish black, often with some whitish markings on head and thorax and/or a pattern of stripes on thorax and abdomen; when alive eyes often clear red. Arista usually with long rays, in some cases pubescent; ocelli present, Ocellar bristles present, except in Acletoxenus; Postvertical bristles usually present, converging; 3 pairs of frontal bristles, 1 pair curving forward or obliquely inward, 2 pairs backward; scattered interfrontal bristles present; vibrissae present. Wing usually unmarked, in some cases with dark markings or extensively infuscated; costa with both humeral and subcostal breaks; vein Sc incomplete; crossvein BM-Cu usually absent, in some cases present; cell cup open or closed. Tibiae virtually always with dorsal preapical bristle, sometimes small or absent (e.g. Cacoxenus).

Biology

The larvae of most species feed on micro-organisms in rotting organic matter such as fruits, mushrooms, bracket fungi, cacti, etc. Other larvae live in slime fluxes or exuding tree sap, are miners, or prey on other insects (e.g. larvae of Cacoxenus living as parasitoids in nests of solitary bees Acletoxenus larvae are predators of larvae of Aleurodidae). The adults are usually attracted by the scent of mushrooms, bracket fungi, ripening or rotting organic matter, and are very frequently found indoors. Some species are easy to rear in large numbers, using artificial substrates. Hence Drosophilidae are much used in scientific research in a large variety of fields.

Identification

 
families/brachycera/acalyptrates/drosophilidae.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 17:00 (external edit)     Back to top
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