Just Like Drunk Dudes, Fruit Flies Have Trouble 'Getting It Up'

In an effort to study the longterm effects of alcohol on animals (and perhaps extrapolate the results to humans), scientists at Penn State dosed a bunch of male fruit flies with ethanol for several days to see if their behavior would change. And guess what? The sodden fruit flies got sluuutty! In the first part of the experiment, the fruit flies were plied with ethanol and then put into an environment with female flies. According to Newsweek, male fruit flies "more than tripled their attempts to mate with the females," though the attempts were "largely unsuccessful," because like their human counterparts, fruit flies can't really get it up when they're wasted.(Fun fact! Male fruit flies have, according to the Independent, "a single, massive 5cm-long sperm, 20 times longer than himself, which takes three days to make." Ew!)



The Penn State biologists had a second scenario in the fruit fly study — this one involved an all-male environment. When the ethanol-soused male fruit flies were put into a males-only situation, the number of fruit flies who engaged in homosexual behavior went from zero to one third. According to Kyung-An Han: "In normal circumstances, [fruit flies] usually do not court males at all." Han also found that the older the fruit fly, the more likely he was to engage in inter-male courting.

It's not only in their sexual behaviors that intoxicated fruit flies mimic the behaviors of drunk humans. When they're a little drunk, fruit flies get hyper. Then they start losing their coordination, and, according to Han "sometimes fall off the container." When they get really shitcanned, they lie on their backs with their little legs up in the air. Sounds like a normal Saturday night!

The Sex Lives Of Bar Flies[Newsweek]