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Invasive fruit fly may pose threat to forest ecosystems

The invasive spotted wing drosophila (SWD), introduced from South-East Asia, is a well-known fruit crop pest. It lays its eggs by destroying the mechanical protection of the fruit's skin, providing an entry point for further ...

Fruit flies move their retinas much like humans move their eyes

Pick an object in front of you—a teacup, for example—and fix your gaze on it. You may think that you're keeping your eyes still, but you're not: Your eyes are frequently moving unbeknownst to you, making tiny involuntary ...

Learning about human cancer from fruit flies

Scientists in Singapore and Spain have gained new insights into the activity of a tumor-suppressor protein in fruit flies that could aid the understanding of some human cancers. The study, published in PLOS Biology, might ...

Researchers identify key player in cellular response to stress

An enzyme called Fic, whose biochemical role was discovered at UT Southwestern more than a dozen years ago, appears to play a crucial part in guiding the cellular response to stress, a new study suggests. The findings, published ...

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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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