Related topics: genes · nerve cells · cells · protein · brain

How egg cells choose their best powerhouses to pass on

Developing egg cells conduct tests to select the healthiest of their energy-making machines to be passed to the next generation. A new study in fruit flies, published online May 15 in Nature, shows how the testing is done.

Reading the dark heart of chromosomes

Although the genomes of thousands of plant and animal species have been sequenced, for most of these genomes a significant portion is missing—the highly repetitive DNA. In the midst of these mysterious genome compartments ...

Researchers discover 'daywake,' a siesta-suppressing gene

Rutgers researchers have identified a siesta-suppressing gene in fruit flies, which sheds light on the biology that helps many creatures, including humans, balance the benefits of a good nap against those of getting important ...

Amino acid in fruit fly intestines found to regulate sleep

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has found that an amino acid made in fruit fly intestines plays a key role in regulating their sleep. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, ...

Developing cells do synchronized swimming inside the embryo

The very beginnings of life inside a tiny developing embryo are mesmerizing to watch. Each movement and biochemical reaction is executed with well-ordered precision about 95 percent of the time, leading to the development ...

Flies smell through a Gore-Tex system

A research group led by a scientist of the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) has gained important insights into the nanopores that allow the fruit fly to detect chemicals in the air, and has identified the ...

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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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