The common name of small fruit fly comes from their small size and fondness for some species of fruits as egg laying and development sites. The name vinegar fly comes from the fact that they develop on the briny or vinegarlike liquids at the top of imperfectly sealed canned fruits and vegetables. Small fruit flies are nuisance pests but may act as disease vectors.
Adults are about 1/8” long, including wings. Colours range from dull, tan to brownish yellow or brownish black. Adult females lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting fruits and vegetables, near the cover crack of imperfectly sealed containers of such materials, or in decaying organic matter.
Small fruit flies are attracted primarily to fresh fruits and vegetables and those fermenting because of yeast, and to decaying organic matter; some species are attracted to human and animal excrement. Because of their small size, many species are able to penetrate ordinary screens.