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Adam Noel Harris adhar at stanford.edu.XX
Thu Mar 26 14:02:08 EST 1998

Krafty <kk at e-z.net> wrote:
:Some co-workers and I are wondering where the fruit flies come from.  I
:believe that fruit flies lay their eggs on the fruit, i.e. bananas, and
:when the fruit becomes overripe, the fruit flies develop into actual
:flying insects and begin to feed on the fruit.
:Please help me to understand the truth.

I think you're not going to like the truth.  Fruit flies are attracted to
fruit, particularly rotting fruit (they eat some kinds of mold).  They lay
their eggs, as you say.  The eggs hatch in a day or so, but not directly
into fruit flies.  Instead, larvae (maggots) are produced, which crawl
around eating fruit for a few more days to increase their size.  Then the
larvae will crawl away from the now mushy fruit and form a hard
shell.  The resulting pupae sit for a couple more days while the fruit
fly develops inside.  Eventually, an adult fruit fly hatches out.  Within
a few hours, it is ready to mate and find more fruit.

The stage you missed - the larval stage - is probably the least appealing
to most people (excepting a few crazed researchers).

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Stanford University.
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