Many species are able to share information about their environment by communicating through auditory, visual, and olfactory cues. In Drosophila melanogaster, exposure to para- sitoid wasps leads to a decline in egg laying, and exposed females communicate this threat to naïve flies, which also depress egg laying. We find that species across the genus Drosophila respond to wasps by egg laying reduction, activate cleaved caspase in oocytes, and communicate the presence of wasps to naïve individuals. Communication within a species and between closely related species is efficient, while more distantly related species exhibit partial communication. Remarkably, partial communication between some species is enhanced after a cohabitation period that requires exchange of visual and olfactory signals. This interspecies “dialect learning” requires neuronal cAMP signaling in the mushroom body, suggesting neuronal plasticity facilitates dialect learning and memory. These observations establish Drosophila as genetic models for interspecies social communication and evolution of dialects.
Kacsoh, Balint Z.; Bozler, Julianna; and Bosco, Giovanni, "Drosophila Species Learn Dialects Through Communal Living" (2018). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 2598.