Drosophila Species Drosophila buzzatii
Drosophila buzzatii is a member of the buzzatii subgroup within the repleta species group. Drosophila buzzatii is a cactophilic species, feeding and breeding in the rotting tissues of cacti, especially of the Opuntia genus.
This species is originally from Argentina and is widely distributed in South America. Recently, is has colonized the Old World and Australia. Drosophila buzzatii was probably introduced to Australia during the program for the biological control of Opuntia cactus that started in the 1920s. By 1940, as the Opuntia was controlled and its distribution reduced more or less to the habitat islands found today, D. buzzatii also contracted to the spatially isolated populations that still exist today.
Drosophila buzzatii and D. aldrichi are the only two cactophilic Drosophila species in Australia. Drosophila buzzatii is less common in the north of Australia than D. aldrichi, but occurs in the south where D. aldrichi is absent.
D. buzzatii can be reared in the laboratory on a cactus- yeast - sucrose medium and has been used as a model species in evolutionary biology, in particular in climatic adaptation, population genetics and life-history evolution.