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Sex & fruit flies

Scientists in Portugal have found key behaviours that trigger the transition from courtship to mating in fruit flies (see video).

The team from EARA member the Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, combined detailed video-monitoring of the flies’ behaviour with advanced genetic tools.

The findings, in Current Biology, show that the ovipositor - a tube-like structure by which fruit flies lay eggs – plays a crucial role in the transition from courtship to copulation.

Cecilia Mezzera, author of the study, said: “The more we learn about how this works, the closer we get to answering the big question we are all pursuing – how the brain generates behaviour.”

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