Anaesthetising Drosophila for behavioural studies

Andrew B. Barron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The detrimental effect of anaesthesia by chilling or CO2 on the mating behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster was investigated. Both agents significantly increased copulation latency, even when flies were given 20 h recover from anaesthesia. CO2 anaesthesia increased copulation latency more than anaesthesia by chilling. Delivery of a mechanical shock to the flies immediately before testing also increased copulation latency. These experiments demonstrate the sensitivity of insect behaviour to disruption by anaesthesia or rough handling. It is preferable to avoid anaesthetising flies that are to be used in behavioural studies. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-442
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthesia
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Cold shock
  • Drosophila

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