... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Monday, October 10, 2011

418: A Drosophila fruit fly

no buzz

Where the hell do those tiny little, silent, dot-sized flies come from? Those slowly, aimlessly floating Drosophila, those fruit flies that appear before your eyes; you clap to kill them and sometimes they are squashed in your palms and sometimes they just vanish from visible sight. You can't follow them about because of their size they will merge invisibly into the background, and they cannot be picked out by any buzzing, hooting or hollerin'. My flat seems to be equipped with a surfeit of them, mostly minding their own business, but doing so in my flat. What appears to be minding their own business must be something more suspicious, or they would be happy to do it in their own flat. If you walked into your living room and I was just sat there on the sofa you would rightly be concerned. Who are you and what are you doing, you might ask, and be well within your rights to do so. If I was to answer nothing, just minding my own business, I'm fairly certain you would be unsatisfied with such an answer. As it is with those dratted fruit flies, appearing inches from my eyes, and disappearing in a clap of the hands.

Well I for one have had enough. Who do these silent maneuvering dots think they are, with their minute bundles of brain cells and their ever so short life cycles which bring about a very fast turn-around of generations leading to their usefulness in biological experimentation? The bastards. In my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room, gerrout of here. If they could speak, what would they say; and would I understand it, even if they were English? Depending on its inclination, its level of education, its frame of mind, etc, it could say anything, but one of the infinite amount of things it could say is know your enemy:

They are also known as wine or vinegar flies because they like hanging around rotting fruit. There has been rotting fruit in the kitchen; we have a very big fruit bowl and bananas and limes tend to go off in the bottom of it, faster than we are inclined to eat them. But that still doesn't explain where they have come from. The back of the flat looks immediately out into the trees of a large public park. As does the front of the flat. But we don't have squirrels and rats wandering up and down the hall. Maybe we do, but they just have the requisite knowledge to stick to the shadows and the corners of our eyes.

In many ways fruit flies, Drosophila, seem as dull and pointless as any other type of fly. More so even, because they are silent, and harmless, and tiny. Having said that I could probably study them for an entire lifetime (human, not fly) and never get bored. What do you say, should I give it a go? "The genus Drosophila as currently defined is paraphyletic (see below) and contains 1,450 described species, [1][9]"..........

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