Environmental enrichment improves mating success in fruit flies

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Authors: Dukas, R; Mooers, AO
Year: 2003
Journal: Animal Behaviour 66: 741-749    PDF 
Title: Environmental enrichment improves mating success in fruit flies
Abstract: Environmental enrichment, defined as housing conditions that include a combination of complex inanimate and social stimulation, has strong positive effects on brain and behaviour in various species. We extended previous studies to evaluate how enrichment affects mating success. In a series of experiments, we found that male fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, reared in an enriched environment were twice as successful in acquiring mates as were males from standard rearing conditions. The dominant factor increasing mating success was the larger space available per fly. Flies from enriched and standard environments showed no significant behavioural differences, leading us to suggest that different social environments at high and low per capita spaces are associated, on average, with either subtle behavioural differences or distinct pheromonal profiles to which females are sensitive while choosing mates. (C) 2003 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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