Dig, Dive, Survive: Scientists demonstrate that fruit fly larvae can make decisions about feeding that balance risk against benefit

Sep 7, 2017

We humans aren’t the only creatures drawn by the smell of a good meal. Fruit fly larvae, it turns out, are equally susceptible to food scents, although the odors that attract them may not appeal to us. “Larvae have relatively simple brains compared to vertebrates, which make them good candidates for study,” said corresponding author Matthieu Louis, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. “We wanted to explore the capabilities of these larvae in naturalistic conditions. We know they have a tendency to move toward food when there’s an attractive odor, so we designed the vivarium to mimic the conditions of decaying fruit, larvae’s favorite meal.”

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