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Male Flies take a lesson from human counterparts


PhishPhan
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Jan. 11, 2005 ? Females among many insects and animals, including humans, enjoy receiving gifts during courtship, but a new study on flies reveals that males can woo their intendeds with worthless, fake love tokens, even if such cheating is otherwise undocumented for the species.

 

By the time the female fly realizes her lover is a cheapskate and beats him off with her wings, the male already has mated with her and leaves with his faux present to find another partner.

 

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To see if even these spoiled females would fall for a fake, the scientists substituted the real food gifts with tiny bits of bugs or full-sized cotton balls, which resemble the fluffy, wind-blown seed tufts that cheating male flies often present to females.

 

"Some (fly) species give seed tufts, others silk balloons or leaves or twigs," said Natasha LeBas, a research fellow at the University of Western Australia's School of Animal Biology who co-authored the study with Leon Hockham. "There is even polymorphism within some empidid (fly) species in which males give either a genuine, nutritious gift like a prey item, or alternatively a token, such as a seed tuft."

 

In this case, the female dance fly examined and tried to eat the cotton ball long enough for the male to have his way with her.

 

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I found this kinda funny since it was so forward considering it is the Discovery Channel.

 

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