From the fear of flies, fruit flies are alcoholics


Frightened by parasitic wasps, flies, fruit flies prefer to lay eggs in fruit containing alcohol. In this way they provide their offspring protection against infection.

Description of the results of research done by biologists at Emory University (USA), have been published in the next issue of the journal Science.

Ethanol is known to toxic, and has a negative impact on the development of insects. However, the researchers were able to clearly prove that the fly, Drosophila (Drosophila melanogaster) is sometimes neglected harmful properties of alcohol in order to protect their larvae. It is the authors discovered in the course of experiments with the use of parasitic wasps-riders.

Parasitic wasps grow their offspring in Drosophila larvae, eating them from the inside first. When maggots are in an environment in which the alcohol concentration is increased, and their tissues are gradually saturated with alcohol, which inhibits the growth of the parasites. Scientists have suggested that the flies are in the presence of a "conscious" of their larvae do alcoholics.

Fruit flies have shown in the course of the experiment dried riders (in parallel, it was found that the flies are able to visually distinguish females from males wasps by the presence of the length of the ovipositor and antennas). "Funky" flies then offered two containers with fruit substrate, one of which contained 6% alcohol, while the other was soft.

Flies, as it turned out, faced with female wasps lay eggs in 90% of cases in a container of alcohol. This figure was only 40% for other fruit flies. Scientists explain this phenomenon by the fact that frightened flies in the brain appears more neuropeptide F. It is similar to neuropeptide Y, which is released in the brain and is also associated with a craving for alcohol.

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