Drosophila melanogaster means ‘dark-bellied dew lover.’ It is one of the most studied organisms in biological research, particularly in genetics and developmental biology.
There are several reasons:
- It is small and easy to grow in the laboratory.
- Their morphology is easy to identify.
- It has a short generation time of about 10 days at room temperature so several generations can be studied within a few weeks.
- Females lay up to 100 eggs per day, and perhaps 2000 in a lifetime.
- It has only four pairs of chromosomes: three autosomes, and one sex chromosome.