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Fruit Fly Pupae

Pupal Stage: How long until fruit flies pupate?

Fruit flies begin as eggs, from which they hatch into larvae. Fruit fly larvae then pupate in order to develop into adults. Fruit flies typically spend eight days between the egg and larval stages and remain inside the pupal stage for approximately six more days. Most fruit flies are becoming mature adults within two weeks.

After fruit fly eggs hatch, larvae begin to feed on the decaying materials within which they were laid. Larvae consume as much food as possible in order to store energy and nutrients for the upcoming pupal stage. After feeding, larvae find cooler, dryer locations within which to pupate. Pupating is essentially a resting period after the larval stage and during this period, the larvae will develop into adults. Fruit fly pupae are small and not easily noticed, especially since they are normally found away from the food source. The pupae have a hard shell.

Twenty-four hours before the adult fruit fly emerges from the puparium, the red eyes and folded wings are visible through the surface. The puparia turn black when adults are ready to emerge. After forcing their way through the puparia, adults are light in color and have elongated wings and abdomens. Within a few hours, these new adults will darken.

After the change to adult flies or the final stage of metamorphosis, the adult fly emerges to start the life cycle over. After about two days, the flies are ready to mate and adults only live about 10 days and the cycle continues.

More Life Cycle Information

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