Courtship behaviors in Drosophila melanogaster are innate and contain highly stereotyped but also experience- and state-dependent elements. They have been the subject of intense study for more than 100 years. The power of Drosophila as a genetic experimental system has allowed the dissection of reproductive behaviors at a molecular, cellular, and physiological level. As a result, we know a great deal about how flies perceive sensory cues from potential mates, how this information is integrated in higher brain centers to execute reproductive decisions, and how state and social contexts modulate these responses. The simplicity of the assay has allowed for its broad application. Here, we introduce methods for studying male and female innate reproductive behaviors as well as their plastic responses.
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