Various organisms have color patterns on their body surfaces, and these color patterns are thought to contribute to physiological regulation, communication with conspecifics, and signaling with the environment. An adult fly of Drosophila guttifera (Insecta: Diptera: Drosophilidae) has melanin pigmentation patterns on its body and wings. Though D. guttifera has been used for research into color pattern formation, how its pupal development proceeds and when the pigmentation starts have not been well studied. In this study, we defined the pupal stages of D. guttifera and measured the pigment content of wing spots from the pupal period to the period after eclosion. Using a transgenic line which carries eGFP connected with an enhancer of yellow, a gene necessary for melanin synthesis, we analyzed the timing at which the yellow enhancer starts to drive eGFP. We also analyzed the distribution of Yellow-producing cells, as indicated by the expression of eGFP during pupal and young adult periods. The results suggested that Yellow-producing cells were removed from wings within 3 h after eclosion, and wing pigmentation continued without epithelial cells. Furthermore, the results of vein cutting experiments showed that the transport of melanin precursors through veins was necessary for wing pigmentation. These results showed the importance of melanin precursors transported through veins and of extracellular factors which were secreted from epithelial cells and left in the cuticle.
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