Fly larvae can regrow their legs if a damaged one is removed. The regeneration process begins when the insect is immature, usually after a foul moult. It requires three moults to complete regeneration, each of which produces progressively larger replacement legs. It is possible to observe this process in many insects, including locusts.
The flies’ regeneration process is a combination of two factors: an apoptosis-promoting gene and a temperature shift. The first one activates the wing pouch, while the other turns off Notch expression. During the developmental window, Myc is expressed at high levels in pouch cells. This allows the regeneration process to proceed more quickly.
Another factor that influences leg regeneration is the morphology of the leg. Stick insects, for example, have a relatively weak wing compared to the rest of the body. Therefore, regeneration of one leg may affect the growth of another, reducing the wing area and reducing the overall flight performance.
In a separate study, Fayth Tan and colleagues developed a protocol for amputations in Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. Using this protocol, they found a way to induce regrowth in 49 percent of the flies. The researchers also used a gene silencing technique called RNAi. RNAi works by reducing biomolecules associated with a specific gene.