Genus Genus Drosophila


The genus Drosophila belongs to the family Drosophilidae, a very large group of over 3900 described species widely distributed throughout the world. Drosophila, in particular D. melanogaster, are extensively used as a model organism in genetics, cell-biology, biochemistry, and developmental biology. As a consequence, extensive efforts are made to sequence drosophilid genomes.

Members of the Drosophila genus are very diverse in appearance, behaviour, and habitat preference. They can be found all around the world in deserts, tropical rainforests, cities, swamps and alpine zones, but with greatest species diversity occurring in the tropical regions. Less than a third of the 38 Drosophila species recorded in Australia are endemic.

In general, Drosophila species are attracted to fermenting resources and may be reared easily in the laboratory. Drosophila are often mistakenly referred to as "fruit flies", but the correct common name is "vinegar flies", or "pomace flies".