Meeting Abstract

P1.177  Wednesday, Jan. 4  Decision-making in feeding and mating behaviors of field collected fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) LOPEZ, I.L.*; ARACENA, J.; Southwestern Oklahoma State University; Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are excellent models to study the genetic basis of behavior. Our main purpose is to test the flies' ability to make decisions between conflicting excitatory inputs: feeding and mating. Individual virgin and previously mated flies of both sexes were placed in test tubes and deprived of food for 0 or 18 hours. One male and one female were placed in a testing arena containing food. We recorded the hierarchy of behaviors (mating, grooming, or feeding) as well as the time spent on each behavior for each individual fly. Preliminary observations suggest that both virgin and previously mated flies spend about fifty percent of their time walking and exploring. It also has shown that mating status highly influences their behavior. More time was spent mating than feeding in both previously mated and virgin flies. Virgin flies are more likely to mate than previously mated flies.