Fruit flies are insects that belong to the family called Plasmidae. They are a pesky type of insect that usually live in moist and shady areas. A single fruit fly can reproduce by laying thousands of eggs and they can lay up to 1000 eggs in just one day. That’s why you’ll often find fruits on a plant that has just been infected with these critters.
It doesn’t take a lot of time for fruit flies to feed from a plant, but once it starts eating the leaves and stems it will eat anything within reach. The feeding process is done partly by sucking plant juices directly from the foliage. Because of this, a fruit fly is a good candidate for causing a leafy green mold infestation in your house.
How can a fly survive without food? To survive, it must subsist on tiny invertebrates, such as aphids, snails, and even tiny arthropods like caterpillars. These animals break down plant material very quickly. Insectivores are particularly adept at feeding on this tiny stuff. The result is that the resulting meals provide the creatures with lots of energy.
Many fruit flies hide in dark areas of a plant, especially around the stem. This is their way of protecting themselves from the harmful effects of sunlight. Some species of aphids do not like the presence of sunlight, so they seek out plants in the evening hours when it’s dark enough to avoid detection. Other types of insects are attracted to the oils produced by the leaves of plants.
The so-called “fly swarms” can consist of hundreds or thousands of insects at once. This means that even a single fly can significantly reduce the life span of a plant. When there are too many of these insects for the foliage to handle alone, it becomes stressed. It may begin to wilt, or even die. This stress can be passed on to other plants in the vicinity, increasing the risk of disease in those plants.
Plants have a tendency to recover from stress in different ways. Some bounce back faster than others. Fruit flies are one of those that bounce back well, especially if the damage caused to the foliage is limited. But other kinds of insects aren’t so lucky. And when the damage is extensive, it’s usually best to leave the fruits alone.
But not all insects feed off plant matter. Most mammals, including dogs and cats, feed on insects that feed off plant matter. But not all carnivores do this, and some plants have a natural predator that feeds exclusively off them. Some others have mechanisms in place to protect themselves from harm from animals that feed on them.
Insects are one type of animal that plants tend to directly feed on, since they’re an important part of their diet. Many plants even create food for these animals. And of course, a hungry animal is going to want to get to that feed quickly. In the process, the leaves may become slightly colored. This isn’t always a problem for carnivores, since the coloring is usually pretty mild and doesn’t affect the quality of the leaf. However, plants can sometimes be affected, especially if there are many leaves on a plant at once.
When fruit flies and other insects land on a leaf, the edges first contact the surface of the plant. The edges then curl upward, exposing the inside of the leaf. The inside of the leaf is filled with a slimy substance that the insects feed on. The plant sends a chemical signal to the insects that the feeding is finished and the feeding will not occur again for several hours. While this generally ensures that the insects leave, it also means that a feeding event will occasionally occur during daylight hours, which could disrupt plant growth.
To protect itself from this disturbance of its daily routine, a plant will bend its roots outward. The greater the outward angle of the plant, the more protection it offers itself from the insect’s suction. The leaves will be bent over at different angles as the plant grows, but the width of the leaves will remain the same. This means that while feeding insects are discouraged from using the plant for nutrients, the plant itself is not affected by the activity.
One of the most common questions about feeding is why does a plant eat animals? While some explanation must be given for the feeding behavior, such explanation must be based on the environment in which the animals were found. Most animals feed on plants only when the plants are sick or dying, which means that they have no other choice. To feed is to survive, and this is what the animals in nature do.