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Fruit Fly Larvae

Like many other insects, fruit flies pass through egg, larva and pupa stages before emerging as sexually mature adults.

Fertilized females lay their eggs in overripe fruit and other sources of soft, sweet, decaying matter. Depending on the species, this behavior can be detrimental or beneficial to the local environment. For example, some species can act as scavengers and are beneficial; however, inside homes, this is not the case. Each female typically produces hundreds of eggs.

Fruit Fly Feeding Closeup

Larvae are the small wormlike early stages of fruit flies. These larvae prefer the wet fermenting areas near fruit or other sweet items. They can also be found commercially in baking areas where sweet fruit fillings may have fallen and have been moistened with wash water. Larvae prefer fermenting items, and if the fruit or other source becomes too well-fermented, the larvae will no longer feed, as fungi and bacteria may become too prevalent. 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. Inside the pupal case, the larva changes to an adult. The cycle continues as adult males breed with females to propagate the species.

Fruit fly larvae will eventually use the last-stage larval skin to form a pupal case, or shell, in which to morph into an adult.


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