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Learning of courtship components in Drosophila mercatorum (Paterson & Wheller) (Diptera, Drosophilidae)

By Andrei Polejack and Rosana Tidon


In Drosophila, courtship is an elaborate sequence of behavioural patterns that enables the flies to identify conspecific mates from those of closely related species. This is important because drosophilids usually gather in feeding sites, where males of various species court females vigorously. We investigated the effects of previous experience on D. mercatorum courtship, by testing if virgin males learn to improve their courtship by observing other flies (social learning), or by adjusting their pre-existent behaviour based on previous experiences (facilitation). Behaviours recorded in a controlled environment were courtship latency, courtship (orientation, tapping and wing vibration), mating and other behaviours not related to sexual activities. This study demonstrated that males of D. mercatorum were capable of improving their mating ability based on prior experiences, but they had no social learning on the development of courtship

Topics: Flies, repleta group, sexual behaviour
Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira De Entomologia
Year: 2007
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