Stoop, Ruedi (Institute of Neuroinformatics, University and ETH Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland)
Stoop, Ralph (Institute of Physics, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland)
Bunimovich, Leonid A. (School of Mathematics, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta 30332, USA)
Precopulatory courtship is a high-cost non-well understood phenomenon of the animal world. Drosophila’s courtship shows marked structural similarities with mammalian counterparts, suggesting its study to dissect origins, purpose and modalities of the phenomenon. From courtship videos, using a mathematical symbolic dynamics approach, we show that D. body language allows to express in addition to a coarse-grained population group membership also finer, individual information. From a formal language point of view, D.’s body language is shown to have a complexity of language equal to or even excelling that of human language.