Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cook, R. & Cook, A. The attractiveness to males of female Drosophila melanogaster: Effects of mating, age and diet. Anim. Behav. 23: 521-526.

The authors studied the attractiveness of female Drosophila melanogaster to males using decapitated females, because decapitated females show minimal behavioural response. Decapitated females, which will survive for many hours, provide a relatively constant stimulus to the male, since she remains stationary. Such females do not extrude their genitalia in response to courtship. The results show that the attractiveness of virgin females varied with age, being at a maximum on the day of eclosion, and declining after. Even though decapitated inseminated females do not extrude their genitalia they received less courtship than decapitated virgin females. The authors also examined the effect of protein vs. sucrose diets on the attractiveness of females. A sucrose diet was found to render both virgin and inseminated decapitated female more attractive to males. This study presents relevant information on courtship and female receptivity to males based on mating status, which is useful for my research.

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