How Hot Can Fruit Flies Survive?

How Hot Can Fruit Flies Survive?

Fruit flies prefer warm, moist environments and don’t like the extreme temperatures of high-heat environments. At temperatures over 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees F), they will start to slow down, and in extreme temperatures, they will die. Because of their sensitivity to heat, it is important to control the environment in which fruit flies are kept. One way to kill fruit flies is to put them in a container containing white vinegar or water.

While temperature is one factor that affects fruit fly life span, the genetic background of the species may be important as well. One study examined the relationship between temperature and lifespan in a Drosophila melanogaster strain and its wild type. Researchers used temperature sensors to measure metabolic rates and observed the effects of temperature on the fruit flies’ lifespan.

The flies’ ability to adapt to different temperature conditions is largely based on the way the brain works. For example, a fly’s brain has many different regions for different senses, which are connected by neurons. Neurons can be narrowly tuned (meaning that they only respond to one stimulus) or broadly tuned (meaning that they can respond to many different stimuli at the same time). Because the fruit flies are so small, they’re more susceptible to dry heat than they are to humid heat. Researchers were able to reproduce the fruit fly’s preference for dry heat by controlling the humidity with air puffs or heating floor tiles.

The researchers were able to visualize the conversations between neurons in the fruit fly brain using fluorescent molecules, which allow them to visually see how hot and cold stimuli affect the insect’s behavior. The researchers also managed to find a neuron in the brain that detects changes in humidity and temperature in the environment. Researchers hypothesized that the neurons target a region of the brain that is innervated by receptors for both hot and cold temperature.