- Small glass jars or beakers
- Cheesecloth to cover the tops
- Rubber bands to fasten the cheesecloth
- Overripe bananas
- Fruit flies
- Magnifying glass
- Place a few slices of the banana in the bottom of the
glass jar and mash them slightly so that they stick to the glass.
- Add a few (5-8) fruit flies* to the container.
- Quickly cover the top with the cheesecloth and fasten it
tightly around the rim with a rubber band.
- Observe through the jar what happens each day for two weeks.
- *Note: If you don't have fruit flies available in your
classroom lab materials, you can "catch" some by placing
your glass jar (with the banana in it) near a source, like
garbage cans. To help attract the flies, place a small
cardboard tube (or a rolled up piece of construction paper)
in the jar near the banana. It may take a few days, but the
fruit flies will be attracted to your jar.
- The fruit flies should begin to lay eggs in the banana
within a few days. The larva should then move to the sides
of the jar. A few days later, the larva should change to a
pupa. A few days later, the pupa should hatch into fruit flies.
- You should be able to see the life stages and
distinguish between the adult and newborn flies.
- Extension Ideas
- Compare the life cycle of the fruit fly with the life
cycle of other animals, like butterflies, chickens, and
puppies. Consider which is most similar to the fruit fly.
- Hotlist of Related Websites
- Mutant Fruit Flies