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Dateless Drosophila Drown Dating Dejection in Drink
March 15, 2012 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Sexual Deprivation Increases Alcohol Intake in Drosophila (the original paper, and a précis, are both behind paywalls; the précis notes "anthropomorphizing the results from flies is difficult to suppress, but the relevance to human behavior is obviously not yet established")
posted by Greg Nog (42 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now I feel bad for the fruit fly I found dead in my Kool-Aid Vodka.

RIP, little man.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:05 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, I don't know. Based on my last couple of months I'd say the relevance is pretty damn well established.
posted by lholladay at 12:06 PM on March 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really gotta do all your work for you, SciAm?
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


help me
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:07 PM on March 15, 2012 [20 favorites]


researchers paired male fruit flies with three types of females: 1) unmated females, which were willing and happy to mate; 2) mated females, which actively rejected the men; and 3) decapitated females

I love science, I love it
posted by theodolite at 12:07 PM on March 15, 2012 [29 favorites]


* considers changing name to "drosophila" *
posted by malocchio at 12:07 PM on March 15, 2012


"Buzzzz.... an' then... an' then... *hic* she dumped me over a maggoty mousse carcasszzzz. bzzzzz. A bloody *hic* 'alf-eaten maggoty mouse carcasszzzz. Gimme 'nother whiskey sour, barkeep. *hic* Can you believe that? No respec' for romantic tradishun at all. bzzzzzz."
posted by zarq at 12:09 PM on March 15, 2012


The reverse is also true. Intoxicated drosophila were found to have increased willingness to mate, thanks to a phenomenon known as "Compound ethanol goggles".
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


And as always, An Alliteration Award awaits Greg Nog.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I did not anticipate spending the afternoon reading about drunk bug sex and yet here I am.
posted by elizardbits at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I did not anticipate spending the afternoon reading about drunk bug sex

I call bullshit
posted by Greg Nog at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2012 [16 favorites]


When they eventually try and see how humans respond in a similar experiment, will there still be decapitated females? Because I don't think that will get past the ethics board.
posted by asnider at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder if it had any effect on the consumption of Country and Western music?
posted by yoink at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "And as always, An Alliteration Award awaits Greg Nog."

Yeah, the post gets a favorite for the title alone.
posted by zarq at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2012


In some alternate universe there is a fruit fly journal publishing results like, "Electrical Stimulation of Limbs Causes Homo Sapiens to Rapidly Flap Proto-Wing Structures", and countless fruit fly pop science blogs run wild with their stories about how humans are so much like them until they go back to posting pictures of Streptococci with cute hats that talk funny.
posted by Copronymus at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


"But baby, I was only saying your place is in the kitchen... you know, where the fruit is!..."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:17 PM on March 15, 2012


Gives a whole new meaning to "Fruit flies like a banana."
posted by stevis23 at 12:19 PM on March 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: anthropomorphizing the results from flies is difficult to suppress, but the relevance to human behavior is obviously not yet established.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:19 PM on March 15, 2012


You'll never get laid if you don't first get your fly down.
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on March 15, 2012


Fruit fly here. Damn you guys use big fonts. Also, wow what an interface. I had to hire this guy and he wasn't cheap. Big question: Why do you fuckers always assume that you're the only ones who like to party. I mean, seriously. We like to drink. You think your lives are short? Try living for a few days. Goddamn. Our 'people' are warriors compared to you soft fucks. Try getting thrown into a jar with a woman with her head cut off. You tell me YOU wouldn't drink? Jesus fuck man. You assholes are always fucking with us. That David Suzuki dipshit made Hitler look like Bambi. We're still suffering.

Best case is that I get shot out an egg casing, I find a banana, I feel up some chick ONCE (I don't even get to know what I'm doing!) and then wham I'm dead. It's like Monday-Thursday tops. I might not even get a weekend. I have no liver concerns. Fuck you guys and your puritanical judgements. K, I gotta go because that was like half my life.

PS Fuck you.

posted by jimmythefish at 12:22 PM on March 15, 2012 [46 favorites]


a male fly will play her a delicate love song by vibrating one wing, caress her rear end, and gently nuzzle her most private of parts with his proboiscis to convince her that he is one heck of a lover.

*takes notes*
posted by naju at 12:24 PM on March 15, 2012 [20 favorites]


I read another paper where rejection also increases the likelihood of the flies buying steel guitars, pickup trucks, and a dog that's a better friend than that durn woman ever coulda been.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:25 PM on March 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


hung like a drosophila, amirite
posted by phaedon at 12:25 PM on March 15, 2012


> Gives a whole new meaning to "Fruit flies like a banana."

You ever have one of those moments where you have heard a phrase your entire life, and suddenly get the joke that had been there all along?

Yeah. Major facepalm for me.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:25 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I initially read "sexual deprivation" as "sexual depravity"...
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:30 PM on March 15, 2012


My wife keeps telling me my increased alcohol intake is going to lead to sexual deprivation.

Boo-yah!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: anthropomorphizing the results from flies is difficult to suppress
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:06 PM on March 15, 2012


fex or not to fex, oh fuck it ... I fill fike me a feckin fye
posted by ding-dong at 1:17 PM on March 15, 2012


I like how this experiment is very to the point.
posted by Meatafoecure at 1:23 PM on March 15, 2012


That's "drunk dipteran sex," thankyouverymuch. Bug sex is even freakier. And don't get me started on those pervy-ass hymenopterans....
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:46 PM on March 15, 2012


Fruit flies like a banana daquiri
posted by Sparx at 3:13 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well this explains the microlitre bottles of Absolute they were trying to sell at the bar last night...
posted by nickggully at 3:52 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now I understand why I was able to get rid of that infestation a couple of years ago with an inch of wine in a highball glass.

The reason they do this must be that it makes them more attractive, it seems clear, and the reason for that is presumably because alcohol can kill parasites in drosophila blood (wasp larvae), and that would make alcohol on your breath an indication to the female in question you didn't have these parasites.

But what really makes me laugh about this is that we might well owe the excellence of wine-- along with a lot of modern genetics, of course-- to the despised fruit fly, which very probably has been doing its best to spread yeasts that convert grape juice into tasty, fragrant, minimally toxic high-alcohol nectar to every cluster in the vineyard, time out of mind.
posted by jamjam at 5:30 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had a fruit fly problem in my windowsill garden a while ago. They said use beer or wine to drown them, and not wanting to spend to much, I used a cheap Fosters can in a shallow dish and got like 4 or so flies. Still have fry problem, so, after a night of high-proof Belgian beers, I put a few inches of Chimay in a smaller dish and left it out on the windowsill.

It got like 20 flies. My fruit fly problem was over.

Conclusion: I have beer snob flies.
posted by The Whelk at 5:33 PM on March 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


The flies that were rejected drank significantly more than their satisfied peers, but so did the ones paired with incapacitated girls, suggesting that it wasn’t the social aspect of rejection but sexual deprivation that drives male flies to increase their ethanol consumption

Am I confused or does this imply two points:

1. Flies are aware when the fly they're hanging out with is dead and has no head
2. The flies are aware of this but are still turned on by the decapitated female and actively try to mate with it

Huh?
posted by Defenestrator at 8:45 PM on March 15, 2012


2. The flies are aware of this but are still turned on by the decapitated female and actively try to mate with it

Huh?
Sexual deprivation, man...
posted by planet at 8:55 PM on March 15, 2012


Sexual Deprivation Increases Alcohol Intake in Drosophila

B-but...but I live in Brisbane.

*takes another swig and inspects unopened box of condoms*

Hey, these are good for another two months!
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:01 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice use of the "neuropeptideF" tag.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:31 AM on March 16, 2012


researchers paired male fruit flies with three types of females: 1) unmated females, which were willing and happy to mate; 2) mated females, which actively rejected the men; and 3) decapitated females

Decapitated females are also willing to mate, as far as the males are concerned, but mated and virgin females behavior very differently, as stated. They also have slightly different pheromones, if I remember correctly, and the males learn how to figure that out after being rejected enough. The general term for pulling out the mated ones is "collecting virgins," which makes lunchtime conversation about what you spent the morning doing sound very strange in Drosophila labs.
posted by Schismatic at 2:11 AM on March 16, 2012


Well, then, I should be so intoxicated I could never make it off the floor...
posted by Samizdata at 8:27 AM on March 16, 2012


Same with bar flies.
posted by zeoslap at 10:48 AM on March 16, 2012


Metafilter: I did not anticipate spending the afternoon reading about drunk bug sex
posted by jokeefe at 2:28 PM on March 16, 2012


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