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Author Topic: Fruit flies in bananas?
Pinatamonkey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My dad tells me that fruit flies lay eggs in bananas, either in the skin or the fruit itself, and that's where all the flies come from when the bananas get rotten. Is this true?
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Binro the Heretic
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Sort of.

It varies from species to species, but some fruit flies lay eggs in the young fruit and the larvae grow right along with it eating the fruit from the inside out.

However, I think the majority simply lay their eggs in and on fruit that has already spoiled or is soon to spoil.

They have a very keen sense of smell and fruit that is bad or is going bad will attract them in swarms.

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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Yes, it depends. The itty bitty flies you see flitting around your elderly bananas are most likely Drosophila--the same ones you study in biology lab. When the fruit starts to go grungy, yeast (from spores floating around in the air) can start to grow on the nice, sugary fruit.
quote:
Fruit flies, Drosophila spp. are attracted to nearly any material that is fermented by yeast. These small flies commonly have bright red eyes, although some species' eyes are dull dark red. In a common fruit fly infestation, flies are attracted to the sweet odor of fermentation in ripe fruit, such as bananas, where they oviposit [lay eggs] in the cracks of the peel. Fruit fly larvae hatch, then feed on yeast cells in the fruit. The life cycle can be completed in not much more than a week.

Newly emerged adults are attracted to lights, but egg-laying females will not leave fermenting materials. Fruits, vegetables, beer, fermenting water from refrigerators, humidifiers, sink drains, sour mops and rags, and fermenting pet food are examples of oviposition sites. Infestations are common in orchards, breweries, restaurants, supermarkets, canneries, hospitals, and homes. Source

Other fruit flies, such as the infamous Mediterranean Fruit Fly lay eggs directly through fruit skin. They prefer non-rotten fruit, as the larvae eat the fruit from the inside out.

Kathy "I demand my bug icon back" B.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

Posts: 4255 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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oh man...I think I've eaten my last banana...damn, I like them, too. Or I used to, before reading this thread. Oooog.

Ali "banana fanna fo fanna" Baba

Posts: 3068 | From: Kensington, MD | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Binro the Heretic
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Don't worry. A good ripe banana isn't going to be full of fruit fly eggs.

It isn't until they befome overripe that they start attracting the little critters.

And anyway, the eggs would be on the surface of or just inside the skin which you hopefully peel off and throw away anyway.

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Just John
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Even if you swallowed the eggs, wouldn't they just be digested along with everything else you eat? Can your stomach really tell the difference between fruit fly eggs and, let's say, octopus eggs?

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Just "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana" John

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