Subject: Red eyed flies
Location: Toledo District, Belize
September 13, 2014 3:42 pm
Hello again folks,
I took a few photos of new fungi and did not notice the flies until I downloaded the images. These are very small insects.
Thanks in advance.
Signature: Tanya

Vinegar Flies

Vinegar Flies

Dear Tanya,
These sure look like Vinegar Flies in the genus
Drosophila to us.  One member of the genus, Drosophila melanogaster, commonly called a Fruit Fly, is used to teach genetics and you can read more about it on the University of North Carolina web page called The Wonderful Fruit Fly.  Of the family, BugGuide notes they feed upon:  “Decaying fruit and fungi also fresh sap and nectar from flowers.”

Thanks so much, Daniel.  I will read more about these critters on the links you provided.  Your website is terrific; it’s the only one I go to daily and spend lots more time than I intended.
Mediterranean fruit flies are an agricultural pest in this area; it’s not uncommon to spot the little white cardboard triangle traps in fruit trees in the nearby town when there is concern about an outbreak.

Hi again Tanya,
Thanks for the compliment.  Mediterranean Fruit Flies are in a different family, which is why we referred to your individuals as Vinegar Flies.  The Vinegar Flies can become a nuisance in the home with overly ripe fruit, but they are not considered an agricultural pest.  They are also associated with bars and taverns that serve sweet, sticky liquors and they are frequently found inside opened bottles with pour spouts.

Thanks, Daniel,  I was reading the UNC site about lab use of fruit flies just now.
The fruit flies we find in swarms in the kitchen from time to time are probably Vinegar flies then.  I never got a close look and certainly never thought to photograph them.  The red eyes were a surprise — very cool.
Thanks again.  I’m turning into a WTB addict.

Location: Toledo District, Belize

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