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Any member of about 1,000 species in the dipteran genus Drosophila, commonly known as fruit flies but also called vinegar flies. Some species, particularly D. melanogaster, are used extensively in laboratories for experiments on genetics and evolution because they are easy to raise and have a short life cycle (less than two weeks at room temperature). More data have been collected concerning the genetics of Drosophila than for any other animal. In the wild, its larvae live in rotting or damaged fruits or in fungi or fleshy flowers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on drosophila, visit Britannica.com.