Tuesday, 30 March 2010

They Are Beginning To Irritate Me

For about a week I have been experiencing more of the little black flies in The Cottage than I have done before.  I had always just assumed that they were ‘fruit flies’ but had no real evidence to support that because to the human eye they are just tiny black irritants.  Then a couple of days ago I decided to try and photograph one that was walking about on the bathroom mirror.  Have you ever tried to photograph a moving 3mm creature using the available light from a household bulb?  It’s not easy I can assure you.  Then this evening for the second evening running I found one in my wine – actually yesterday there were so may it got tipped out instantly.  Tonight I had the presence of mind to photograph it first.  Then, as the fly could have been there for quite a while, I tipped it out.  This was getting serious! So now I had a clear enough picture for identification.  They are called Vinegar Flies (Drosophilidae) and are attracted to the smell of fermenting fruit and other plants.  There are about 2900 species of Vinegar Fly known worldwide (at least 17 in New Zealand) and have taught us most of what we know about genetics.  Fruit flies (Tephritidae), on the other hand, are not found in New Zealand.






There you are, Pauline, I did manage to blog on the little creatures.  Wasn’t that interesting?  I bet you can’t wait for the next one.


  1. Getting such a photo is impressive.

  2. Bravo! These are great shots of the little bugger! It's a shame about the wasted wine though. A coaster on top of the wine glass between sips?

  3. You are such a treat!! I am so happy and thankful that you're a part of my life, my friend :)

    I did enjoy this post...and I'm sure you're smiling with that thought.

  4. Never tried to photograph one, no... Or properly identify one, for that mattter! So can't be sure if the ones I sometimes get are the same as yours. In the winter I've sometimes found the "source" to be some potted plant I've bought and the only way to get rid of them to throw out that plant. Somone also gave me the tip to sprinkle the earth in flower pots with pepper, which apparently they don't like. But I don't suppose you'll want to spice up your wine with pepper, so to cover the glass is probably a better idea... ;)

  5. A coaster it will be tonight!!

  6. Oh yuck! Too much information!

    Please make sure that you check your luggage - we dont want any of them finding their way to Tigh na Mara. We have thousands of frogs to contend with at the moment. Yes, I did say thousands - we have an epidemic! Double Yuck.

    See you at Stornoway airport very shortly.

    Much love xxxx

  7. OK, now I believe it! You can blog about flies. Although I hope it doesn't catch on. I think I'd nickname my flies "wine flies" if I were you. After all, they are hanging around for something and it sounds like they have a taste for wine.

  8. We had a plague of them in the kitchen last year for quite a few weeks. Darned nuisance. One of the reasons they are good for genetic study is probably the speed they breeed!!!