Pomace Flies / Vinegar Flies

Family Drosophilidae


Members of this family are sometimes called Fruit Flies, but this common name is best avoided because it is also applied to a different family, Tephritidae.  Pomace Flies is a good common name, since these species are attracted to processed fruit such as apples crushed in a cider mill. Drosophilid flies have also been called Vinegar Flies because they can taint the production of wine or beer, essentially turning the product into vinegar (high acetic acid content).

Drosophilidae or the type genus Drosophila are well-known to the public as the little flies used in science classes for heredity experiments.  Drosophila melanogaster in particular breeds easily in the labratory, and each generation is produced with surprising rapidity—a useful characteristic in heredity studies.

Among the traits of flies in Drosophilidae are:

The larvae of Pomace Flies live on a variety of fermenting substances, ranging from fruit to tree sap to mushrooms.

Worldwide, about half of the species in this family are placed in the genus Drosophila.


Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image with information about the species

Chymomyza amoena
Drosophila melanogaster / simulans
Drosophila sp. (West Virginia)
Drosophila sp. (West Virginia)
Drosophila sp. (Brazil)
Mycodrosophila sp.
Scaptomyza sp.
Zapronius indianus

American Insect site