Morphometric Analysis of Wing Size and Shape in Two Sibling Species, Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila simulans

By: Jocelyn Reaves '15

Advising Faculty: Phillip Barnes

Body size and wing size in Drosophila are affected by genetic variation among individuals and by the environmental conditions under which individuals develop from egg to adult. These two species are virtually indistinguishable from each other and live in close proximity with humans, utilizing anthropogenic sources of food such as decomposing and fermenting fruits and vegetables. D. simulans is a more warm weather species, while D. melanogaster lives at the same warm temperatures but survives longer into the cooler weather of the Fall. Our research is an exploration of the wing size, wing shape and body size differences between these two species and how temperature affects them by raising them at 20°, 24°, and 28°C. Questions that we are interested in include 1) what kinds of genetic differences exist between the two species for these traits and 2) how does developmental temperature affect these differences. We hope that these kinds of information will help to elucidate the processes that led to these two species diverging from their common ancestor into separate species.

Related Fields: Biological Sciences, Biology