Grape Flies

September 12, 2012 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Food, Photography, Photos 1,069 views

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Fruit Flies on GrapesMy wife brought back several kilos of grapes from her grandfather’s grapevine in Extremadura last month. They are very sweet and delicious, but, having grown up eating only seedless grapes, I have found it nearly impossible to adjust to eating grapes I can’t just chomp down on but have to be careful to either remove or swallow the seeds. I had no problem adjusted to eating olives with pits, but I think it’s the ambiguity between whether or not grape seeds are small enough to swallow or big enough to spit out that has kept me from enjoying Spanish grapes.

Anyway, we were unable to consume them all before they started to ferment on our kitchen table. One day when I accidentally bumped the bowl, a cloud of fruit flies was released into the air, which was both shocking and pretty cool. It reminded me a little of The Green Mile (RIP Michael Clarke Duncan).

Yesterday I finally got around to dichotomizing them, placing the edible ones into the closed tupperware container and the rest into the trash can, but before I did, I got out my tripod and photographed some of the flies on the grapes. They are tiny little buggers!

Fruit Flies on Grapes

I love the weblike structure you can see in the grape. I’m curious if the black freckles have any causal relationship with the flies. I assume the flies must be piercing the skin and eating the sugary insides of the grape, so I wonder if the dots are some oxidation at the site of the hole or something, sort of like the swelling at the site of a mosquito bite? Some of the freckles are actually part of the grape’s skin, but others are particles that can be washed away. Fly turds?

Fruit Flies on Grapes

This was the biggest fly I could see. She’s female. The males have blacker abdomens and are smaller. I took these using my regular 200mm zoom lens. It was fun watching them through the viewfinder as they moved their front legs around.

Fruit Flies on Grapes

On top of the world! This one reminds me of Le Petit Prince.

By the time I was done washing the good grapes, all the flies disappeared, dispersing into the world to look for more food…or wine.