Ever wondered why flies are attracted to beer? Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have, and offer an explanation. They report that flies sense glycerol, a sweet-tasting compound that yeasts make during fermentation.
Insects use their taste system to glean important information about the quality and nutritive value of food sources, said Anupama Dahanukar, an assistant professor of entomology, whose lab conducted the research. Sugars signal high nutritive value to flies, but little is known about which chemical cues flies use for food sources that are low in sugar content – such as beer.
(Featured image van yimix)