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

How mechanical tearing cuts neural connections in the fruit fly

Scientists from the Institute of Neuro- and Behavioral Biology at Münster University have been studying the regulated removal of neural connections in the model system of the Drosophila fruit fly. They find that mechanical ...

Polygamous birds shown to have fewer harmful mutations

Bird species that breed with several sexual partners have fewer harmful mutations, according to a study led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath. The study, published in Evolution, shows for the first ...

What 'alien' languages can teach us about real ones

You can learn a lot about an animal by how it communicates. Birds tweet melodies to attract mates and defend their territory. Dogs befriend each other with wagging tails and smelly pheromones. Even plants communicate by diffusing ...

Exercise curbs insulin production in fruit flies

Insulin is an essential hormone for humans and many other living creatures. Its best-known task is to regulate sugar metabolism. How it does this job is well understood. Much less is known about how the activity of insulin-producing ...

Research reveals fruit fly circadian clock mechanisms

The higher the temperatures, the faster physiological processes are. But there is an exception: the so-called circadian clock, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle in organisms. A fascinating question for scientists is why ...

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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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