Tracking Sugar-Elicited Local Searching Behavior in Drosophila

J Vis Exp. 2023 Nov 17:(201):10.3791/65955. doi: 10.3791/65955.


Foraging behavior is essential for the survival of organisms as it enables them to locate and acquire essential food resources. In Drosophila, hunger triggers a distinct search behavior following the consumption of small quantities of a sugar solution. This report presents a simple experimental setup to study sugar-elicited search behavior with the aim of uncovering the underlying mechanisms. Minute quantities of concentrated sugar solution elicit sustained searching behavior in flies. The involvement of path integration in this behavior has been established, as flies utilize their trajectory to return to the sugar location. The most recent findings provide evidence of temporal modulation in the initiation and intensity of the search behavior after sugar intake. We have also used this setup for artificial activation of specific taste-receptor neurons in the pharynx, which elicits the search behavior. The Drosophila neurogenetic toolkit offers a diverse array of tools and techniques that can be combined with the sugar-elicited search behavior paradigm to study the neural and genetic mechanisms underlying foraging. Understanding the neural basis of hunger-driven searching behavior in flies contributes to the field of neurobiology as a whole, offering insights into the regulatory mechanisms that govern feeding behaviors not only in other organisms but also in humans.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetitive Behavior
  • Carbohydrates
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Drosophila* / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Humans
  • Sugars


  • Sugars
  • Carbohydrates
  • Drosophila Proteins