Acoustic stimulus influences ovipositioning in drosophila melanogaster

Alexa Decker, Brianna D’elia, Alexandra Kuhl, Sydney Rosen, Amanda Disney, Caroline Dial, Maria Linietsky, Jonas Taylor-Lilquist, Birgitta Taylor-Lilquist, Erin Kim, Julian Paul Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Evidence indicates that Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (Diptera Drosophilidae) utilize numerous environmental factors to assess the available resources while simultaneously evaluating protection for their offspring in determining ovipositioning. While a number of physical stimuli have been examined, auditory stimuli has not. If D. melanogaster incorporate sound into their determining schema, it is unknown if such a tone would be perceived as beneficial or threatening. In order to assess their tone prefer-ence and to confirm previous findings, 120 female D. melanogaster were tested. Their ovipositioning preferences were measured by counting the amount of eggs laid in areas categorized as On, Near, and Off relative to tone location. A 250 Hz tone was pre-sented either to one side of a forced choice chamber, presented on both sides, or there was no tone. Also within the study, sub-strates (sucrose, caffeine, and none) were varied. It was found that D. melanogaster laid significantly more eggs under the tone (p < 0.001) compared to controls. When given the option to lay their eggs under tone or on sucrose (a previously determined pref-erence), they chose tone at a significant higher rate compared to sucrose (p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that female D. mel-anogaster may positively associate 250 Hz tone. The evolutionary implications of such behavior are investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of Insectology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Acoustic stimulus
  • Caffeine
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Ovipositioning
  • Sucrose


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