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Dryad

Data from: 2-D sex images elicit mate copying in fruit flies

Cite this dataset

Nöbel, Sabine et al. (2022). Data from: 2-D sex images elicit mate copying in fruit flies [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4qrfj6qdv

Abstract

Although the environment is three-dimensional (3-D), humans are able to extract subtle information from two-dimensional (2-D) images, particularly in the domain of sex. However, whether animals with simpler nervous systems are capable of such information extraction remains to be demonstrated, as this ability would suggest a functional generalisation capacity. Here, we performed mate-copying experiments in Drosophila melanogaster using 2-D artificial stimuli. Mate copying occurs when naïve females observe the mating success of potential mates and use that social information to build their own mating preference. By replacing live demonstrations with (i) photos or (ii) simplified images of copulating pairs, we found that even crudely simplified images of sexual intercourse still elicit mate copying, suggesting that Drosophila is able to extract sex-related information even from a degraded image. This new method constitutes a powerful tool to further investigate mate copying in that species and sexual preferences in general.

Methods

We did behavioral observations of fruit fly mate choice decisions. 

Funding

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-10-LABX-41

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR11-IDEX-0002-02

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-18-CE37-0015

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Award: ANR-17-EUR-0010