Neuroscience

Neuroscientists now can read the mind of a fly

Northwestern University neuroscientists now can read the mind of a fly. They have developed a clever new tool that lights up active conversations between neurons during a behavior or sensory experience, such as smelling a ...

Genetics

Rsu1 gene linked to regulation of alcohol consumption

(Medical Xpress)—A large team of international researchers has found a link between the Rsu1 gene and the degree of impact of alcohol consumption on both fruit flies and humans. In their paper published in Proceedings of ...

Neuroscience

Brain compass keeps flies on course, even in the dark

If you walk into a dark room, you can still find your way to the light switch. That's because your brain keeps track of landmarks and the direction in which you are moving. Fruit flies also boast an internal compass that ...

Neuroscience

Quick getaway: How flies escape looming predators

When a fruit fly detects an approaching predator, it takes just a fraction of a second to launch itself into the air and soar gracefully to safety—but there's not always time for that. Some threats demand a quicker getaway, ...

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Tephritidae

Bactrocera Ceratitis Paracantha Rhagoletis Tephritis Urophora Euaresta Xyphosia hundreds more

Tephritidae is one of two fly families referred to as "fruit flies". Tephritidae does not include the biological model organisms of the genus Drosophila, which is often called the "common fruit fly". Drosophila is, instead, the type genus of the second "fruit fly" family, Drosophilidae. There are nearly 5,000 described species of tephritid fruit fly, categorized in almost 500 genera. Description, recategorization, and genetic analysis are constantly changing the taxonomy of this family. To distinguish them from the Drosophilidae, the Tephritidae are sometimes called peacock flies.

Tephritid fruit flies are of major importance in agriculture. Some have negative effects, some positive. Various species of fruit fly cause damage to fruit and other plant crops. The genus Bactrocera is of worldwide notoriety for its destructive impact on agriculture. The olive fruit fly (B. oleae), for example, feeds on only one plant: the wild or commercially cultivated olive. It has the capacity to ruin 100% of an olive crop by damaging the fruit. On the other hand, some fruit flies are used as agents of biological control, thereby reducing the populations of pest species. Several species of the fruit fly genus Urophora are questionable in their effectiveness as control agents against rangeland-destroying noxious weeds such as starthistles and knapweeds.

Most fruit flies lay their eggs in plant tissues, where the larvae find their first food upon emerging. The adults usually have a very short lifespan. Some live for less than a week.

Fruit flies use an open circulatory system as their cardiovascular system.

Their behavioral ecology is of great interest to biologists. Some fruit flies have extensive mating rituals or territorial displays. Many are brightly colored and visually showy. Some fruit flies show Batesian mimicry, bearing the colors and markings of dangerous insects such as wasps because it helps the fruit flies to avoid predators; the flies, of course, lack stingers.

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