Is there any published data which shows the number of Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies eclosing (hatching out of the pupae) against time since egg oviposition? I'm thinking there should be something like a "cumulative flies eclosed" plot showing the cumulative number of flies emerging per time interval after the eggs were oviposited (something like this dummy figure).

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I expected to find this in the Ashburner et al Drosophila book but there was nothing. I am trying to see how much variance there is around the mean for an experiment design. It may be helpful to know (though I am not necessarily after specifics to this set up) we keep our flies at 25 degrees, 12:12 light dark cycle, 60% humidty on a yeast and sugar based food source. The flies are an African lab adapted population (Dahomey ca ~1970's?) and eggs in the experiment would be kept at low density so resource competition is not an issue.


1 Answer 1


Although I found this study, where mean and 95% CIs of median time to eclosion (h) are provided for some strains of D.m. (with a resolution of 12 h) (in table 3), the moment of eclosion seems to be under circadian control: "in Drosophila melanogaster, the emergence of adults from their pupal cases (eclosion) is gated by the circadian clock such that it occurs during a window of approximately 8-10 h starting 1-2 h before lights-on in 12-h light:12-h dark cycles (LD)". In that particular study Canton-S flies eclosed within 4-5 days after pupation (LD 12:12, 25°C) with the following distribution over day (digitized from Fig. 1A [numbers are approximate, percents don't sum up to 100]):

Hours   % eclosed
12-14   0.5
14-16   0.4
16-18   0.6
18-20   1.1
20-22   1.4
22-24   5.6

0-1     20.4
1-2     9.3
2-3     13.7
3-4     12.0
4-5     10.3
5-6     11.3
6-7     6.6
7-8     4.9
8-9     2.1
9-10    0.8
10-11   0.8
11-12   0.4

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