Drosophila Species Drosophila aldrichi
Drosophila aldrichi belongs to the mulleri subgroup within the repleta species group. Drosophila aldrichi is a cactophilic species, feeding and breeding in the rotting tissues of Opuntia cactus species.
Drosophila aldrichi has a broad distribution and is found in southern Texas (USA), the lowlands of both coasts of mainland Mexico, and it has more recently been collected in two isolated locations in Baja California Sur (Mexico). Drosophila aldrichi was probably introduced to Australia from Northern Mexico or Texas along with its cactus hosts during the program for the biological control of Opuntia cactus that started in the1920s.
Drosophila aldrichi and D. buzzatii are the only two cactophilic Drosophila species in Australia. The range of D. aldrichi is much more restricted, being entirely within that of D. buzzatii and its relative abundance decreased from central Queensland southwards.
Drosophila aldrichi 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 and life-history evolution.