Watch War-Painted Female Fruit Flies Fight After Sex

Caught in the act. Image: Amy Hong
The lady insects have some sick fighting moves, including leg-fencing and headbutts.

By Becky Ferreira | MOTHERBOARD

The French coined the term „la petite mort,“ meaning the little death, to describe the mellow, bittersweet buzz that many people report experiencing after sex. But female fruit flies, in contrast, feel no such post-coital chill, opting for more of a „fight to the death“ vibe.

According to new research published on Monday in Nature Ecology & Evolution, there is a consistent uptick in aggressive bullying behavior between female Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies after they have mated with males, a shift that may be triggered by sex peptides in fruit fly semen. This conclusion was reached after several observations of recently bedded females duking it out with slap-fights, shoves, and even the dreaded fruit fly headbutt.

Yes, there’s video evidence, and yes, it’s adorable. Behold, a sperm-fueled gladiatorial showdown in a tiny „contest arena.“

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