Female Fly Postmating Behaviors

Anne C. von Philipsborn, Galit Shohat-Ophir, Carolina Rezaval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Upon copulation, females undergo a switch-like change in their behavior and physiology, known as “postmating responses.” These strong behavioral and physiological changes are triggered by the transfer of male seminal proteins during copulation. Postmating response is associated with strong reduction in receptivity, indicated by the females kicking their legs toward the suitor and curving their abdomen downward to hide their genitalia from them and extruding their ovipositor at the tip of the abdomen, which physically prevents copulation. The transfer of male-specific pheromones, such as 11-cis-vaccenyl-acetate, during copulation further reduces female attractiveness. In addition, mated females exhibit increased ovulation, egg-laying behavior, enhanced feeding behavior, and changes in food preference. However, females increase their rate of remating when they are in social groups or in the presence of food. This protocol describes methods for measuring female postmating behaviors, such as oviposition, female sexual receptivity, and mating plug ejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-481
Number of pages10
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023

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© 2023 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


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