Midges

Midges are part of the category of Diptera as the Flies, mosquitoes and god flies and they are divided into two main families:

  • Tephritidae:
    Ceratitis capitata
    Dacus oleae
    Rhagoletis fausta
    Rhagoletis pomonella
    Ragoletis cingolata
  • Drosophilidae
    Drosophila melanogaster

Midge is the common name for defining this very small insect: the breeds of midges that lay the eggs into the water or into soft and muddy grounds, this breeds are harmless to the human being except for some breeds of midges that live into sandy areas, and considered, for their dimensions (not longer of 1mm), the littler insects that suck blood.

The breeds commonly defined “midges of the fruit” usually do not provoke serious damages to the plants, but their presence is the waning signal of environmental degradation or fermentation of vegetable and organic materials and also of thick dampness of the ground. The larvae of the midge of the fruit or drosophila melanogaster, feeds of the fresh fruit pulp; the female lays straight into the fruit pulp one or more eggs thanks to its ovipositor with which it bites the seal. From the eggs, after 24 hours, come out the larvae that, pass through three larval stadiums during which they feed of the fruit pulp using micro-organisms, and thanks to them, are decomposed the sugar of the fruit and fruit itself; when the fruit lays to the ground, the larva of the midge of the fruit, that has almost arrived to the length of 5-6mm, penetrates under 3cm of the ground, here happen the pupation. The standing of this cycle is of about 5 days, but it can change according to the temperature of the environment.

The average term of the midge’s life is of 15 days during which the female can lays up to 600 eggs. The midge of the fruit can be distinguished from the red eyes, the yellow-brown colour of the body, and the diagonal and darker coil of the abdomen, furthermore, it has got very coloured wings, with complicated drawings that permit to the females to recognize the males.

The midge’s dimensions change, can be very small but can reach the dimension of a common domestic Fly; the females of the midge of the fruit are slight bigger than the male and, the difference that permits to distinguish their sex, is the final part of the body of the male that is darker with a trichome crest around the vent and the genital visible only to the microscope.

The drosophila melanogaster is the well-known midge for the biological research because it is an organism, from a genetical point of view, very simple and very similar to the human being, and for this reason it is used as a model for the studying of a lot of human being’s diseases as the Parkinson’s disease and the Alzheimer’s disease; according to recent studies at the University of California the midge of the fruit is capable to identify with extraordinary capability the source of smell pleasant and desiderable to it, in spite of its reduced abilities, whether visual or olfactive.

The midge of the fruit is considered as a model of sensorial equipment useful to the development of new software equipments that can notice at arm’s length, dangerous Substances for the human being.

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