Fruit Flies- the series – Part One

Seize the Day

Let’s start off with the basics of fruit flies. 

There are 3 main types:

Traditional Fruit flies:

These winged bugs can fly all over the place and are annoying when a tomato or piece of fruit gets left on the counter past ripe.

Melanogaster Fruit flies:

Drosophila_melanogaster fruit fly

Drosophila melanogaster or melanos or mels are the most common type of feeder fruit fly.  These flies measure out 1/16th of an inch long which makes them perfect for poison dart frogs.

There are 2 types of melanogaster flies: flightless and wingless.  Flightless has been genetically modified so that they cannot fly, as wingless lacks wings therefore they cannot fly.  Both cannot fly, however flightless flies may regain the ability to fly if the culture gets too warm or if a wild fruit fly contaminates the culture.


I will go more in depth on culturing later in this series, but in general, melanogaster flies will typically morph out on day 14.

Interesting Fact:

Other than being used for feeding, this fly species is widely used for genetics, physiology, microbial pathogenesis and life history evolution.  Around 75% of known human disease genes can be recognized in the fruit fly.  These fruit flies are used due to being easy to care for, breeds quickly and lays many eggs.

Hydei Fruit flies:

hydei fruit fly

Drosophila hydei or hydei is another common type of feeder fruit fly.  These flies are larger than the melanogaster fruit flies at 1/8″ of an inch long which provides larger frogs with a more filling option.

Hydei also have a flightless and a wingless version.


These flies take much longer to hatch at 21 days+ until the first hydei emerge.  These cultures are said to have a boom and bust cycle, where the culture will appear empty and then all of a sudden it will be filled with new flies.  These cultures are more prone to drying out, crashes and mites than melanogaster flies.

 Interesting Fact:

It is known for having approximately 23mm long sperm, 10 times the length of the male’s body.

Which type of fly is right for me_-1

Stay tuned for the next part on fruit fly culturing cups!

Ultimate Fruit Fly Series:

  1. Types of Fruit Flies (Current Page)
  2. Which Fruit Fly container to use?
  3. Pro Tips for culturing flies
  4. 26 Pros thoughts on Fruit Fly Supplementation

Cover image from Wikipedia commons – modified to include text

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11 thoughts on “Fruit Flies- the series – Part One

  1. Which fruit fly is right for me? Hmmm–decisions, decisions. They all sound so great.

    Actually I think I’ll pass, but got to commend you on your research. I do remember using fruit flies in a college biology class that I took.

    Educational post.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I like turtles as well, just haven’t found the urge to keep one yet! Can’t wait to see all the awesome blogs on the leisurely road trip!

  2. I think I’ll go with the microbial pathogenesis one, because it makes me look smarter. And I still get to feed it to a frog, right? Completely misread that the first time. Wanted it to say parthenogenesis. Would probably be a lot easier than dating, if you were a microbe.

  3. Hi I’m another Road Trip visitor. Your blog looks very informative for frog lovers. Not sure about the fruit flies though.Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary and stats.

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