Fruit flies

Fruit flies

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Credit: LIZZIE HARPER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fruit flies. Artwork of a male (left) and a female (right) fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). The first leg of the male fly has a sex comb (red, expanded at left of upper centre), which is not seen on the female. The comb is a useful way of sexing the fly, and is used by the male to sense a female. The female's abdomen (lower right) is both broader and lighter than that of the male. The fruit fly gains its name from its liking for rotting fruit, which it eats and lays eggs in. It is also commonly used in genetic research as it breeds quickly and has a small number of chromosomes. Its chromosomes are large, making them easy to study and identify.

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Keywords: adaptation, animal, artwork, differences, dimosphisic, drosophila melanogaster, female, flies, fruit fly, illustration, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, male, nature, pair, sexual dimorphism, two, watercolour, wildlife, zoology

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