Ecology of information: social transmission dynamics within groups of non-social insects

Marine Battesti, Cristian Pasquaretta, Celine Moreno, Serafino Teseo, Dominique Joly, Elizabeth Klenschi, Odile Petit, Cedric Sueur, Frederic Mery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


While many studies focus on how animals use public information, the dynamics of information spread and maintenance within groups, i.e. the ‘ecology of information’, have received little attention. Here we use fruitflies trained to lay eggs on specific substrates to implement information into groups containing both trained and untrained individuals. We quantify inter-individual interactions and then measure the spread of oviposition preference with behavioural tests. Untrained individuals increase their interactive approaches in the presence of trained individuals, and the oviposition preference transmission is directly proportional to how much trained and untrained individuals interact. Unexpectedly, the preference of trained individuals to their trained oviposition substrate decreases after interactions with untrained individuals, leading to an overall informational loss. This shows that social learning alone is not enough to support informational stability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20142480
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1801
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • social learning
  • social interaction
  • Drosophila
  • oviposition


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