Drink for the Cure II

I don’t know that insects have “sorrows” to drown, however, alcohol consumption can help them “drown” their parasitoids. As noted in a previous post, alcohol consumption by Drosophila flies helps the flies survive attacks by parasitoid wasps. In a newly discovered twist, mama Drosophila may encourage her offspring to drink alcohol.

Fruit Flies Like an Apple

Fruit Flies Like an Apple

In the absence of a parasitoid wasp, female Drosophila only laid about 40% of their eggs in a dish of food that contained alcohol. They preferred to lay eggs in food without the alcohol. If parasitoid wasps were present, however, the preference was changed. The female Drosophila laid almost 90% of their eggs in the food dish containing alcohol. These experiments suggest that female Drosophila can sense the presence of the parasitoids and change their oviposition behavior to give their offspring a better chance of survival.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s