Pomace Flies / Vinegar Flies
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:
- Three bristles on each of the orbital plates (the dorsal strip that runs alongside each eye)
- Pilose eyes (nearly always); the size and shape of the eyes are the same in males and females
- Antennae aristate, usually feather-like with rays on both sides
- Abdomen usually with seven spiracles in the female, six in the male
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.
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American Insect site