Group rearing leads to long-term changes in locomotor activity of Drosophila males


Previous social experience may affect subsequent behavior. It was shown by other authors that Drosophila melanogaster males kept individually are more aggressive and sexually active than males kept in a group. In the present study, we tested the locomotor activity of individual males and females previously reared either individually, or in a group. We found that keeping 20 young males for three days together led to a strong long-term (up to 5 days) reduction in their further locomotor activity as individuals. Rearing of young males in groups of other sizes (2, 5, 10, and 30) produced a smaller or no after-effect. At the same time, we have not found any difference in subsequent behavior of individual females previously kept either individually, or in a group. We suppose that in a group, flies learned to suppress their locomotor activity to prevent unpleasant contacts with other animals (operant learning). It seems that in males this learning is more efficient because of the higher level of aggression producing the stronger negative reinforcement.

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Panova, A. , Bragina, J. , Danilenkova, L. , Besedina, N. , Kamysheva, E. , Fedotov, S. and Kamyshev, N. (2013) Group rearing leads to long-term changes in locomotor activity of Drosophila males. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 3, 31-35. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2013.34A2004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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