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Journal Article

Attraction of Drosophila melanogaster males to food-related and fly odours


Hansson,  Bill
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Lebréton, S., Becher, P., Hansson, B., & Witzgall, P. (2012). Attraction of Drosophila melanogaster males to food-related and fly odours. Journal of Insect Physiology, 58, 125-129. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.10.009.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-455A-5
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a model for olfaction and odour-mediated behaviour. In the wild, Drosophila flies aggregate on decaying fruit where they mate and oviposit and a strategy to find mates would be to locate fruit which has already been colonized by other flies. We therefore developed a bioassay to investigate attraction of males to food and fly odours. We showed that upwind flights are initiated by food odours. At shorter distances, males are attracted by volatiles produced by conspecifics. However, only odours produced by copulating flies attract males. This suggests either a synergistic effect of both male and female odours or changes in pheromone release during mating, that indicate the presence of sexually receptive females. Our findings demonstrate the essential role of food odours and pheromones for mate location in D. melanogaster.