Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bennett, Jack (Cecil Jackson)

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Drosophila melanogaster; Pheromones


Orientation, locomotion and tapping behavior were recorded for sets of two Drosophila melanogaster males exposed to air from three sample chambers. Two chambers contained females and one did not. For each run the order of the chambers was changed and concealed from the observer. The first experiment used males and females of two stocks recently collected in the wild from separate locations. Air flow passed over females of these stocks significantly increased the orientation behavior of males of both stocks when compared with the control. For the second experiment one stock was replaced by a coisogenic Oregon-R inbred white eye mutant. Also males of an Oregon-R wild-type stock which had been inbred for over 200 generations were tested with the same females. The results for the stocks collected in the wild indicated a pheromone effect as measured by orientation to odors of wild-type females (in the same stock) and white eye females (of the white stock mentioned). The white and inbred males did not show a significant increase in orientation to odor from females. The wild stock results show the presence of a female pheromone which the white and inbred lines do not respond to. This suggests a male variable response system in Drosophila melanogaster. The white males shewed a significant decrease in locomotion behavior in response only to white females when compared with a control. This indicates a reaction to odor from the white females and not the wild females. The inbred line however showed a significant increase in locomotion behavior to the odor from wild females and not the white. The stock collected in the wild showed an increase in locomotion in the first experiment with the females' odor but no difference in the second. This shows a variation in behavioral responses to the same odors between stocks. The difference does not appear to be a variation of reception or pheromones as much as a variation of the males' interpretation of them.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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