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

How animals repurpose genes to develop both limbs, eyes

The last common ancestor of cephalopods and vertebrates existed more than 500 million years ago. In fact, a squid is more closely related to a clam than it is a to a person. Even so, the two lineages independently evolved ...

Team succeeds in culturing the pygmy zebra octopus

For generations, scientists have relied on a handful of organisms to study the fundamentals of biology. The usual suspects—fruit flies, zebrafish, and mice, among others—all have short lifespans, small body size, can ...

Unfolding the blindness proteins through fly eyes

Every 6 minutes someone is told they're going blind. One of the major causes of human blindness is a disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which causes progressive degeneration of the retina and vision loss. Approximately ...

Flies navigate using complex mental math

The treadmills in Rachel Wilson's laboratories at Harvard Medical School aren't like any you'll find at a gym. They're spherical, for one, and encased in bowling ball–sized plastic bubbles. They're also built for flies.

Coaxing jellyfish, flies and mice to regenerate body parts

Caltech researchers have discovered certain conditions that enable different laboratory animals to regenerate amputated appendages. Upon consuming a diet high in sugar and an essential amino acid, three different species—the ...

Mating, tattoos and leaving home: A tale of growing up guppy

Nature is full of big questions that are easy to ask and hard to answer. With some good old-fashioned hard work and help from a humble, gilled vertebrate, though, Michigan State University's Sarah Fitzpatrick and Isabela ...

Male-biased protein expression discovered in fruit flies

Fruit flies (Drosophila) are important model organisms for biological research. Molecular tools exist that can turn on (or induce) gene expression in fruit flies, allowing researchers to learn more about the functions of ...

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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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