Fly Fights, Size, And Serotonin


Stalk-eyed flies, known for their long protruding eyes, compete against each other for control of a territory, food, or other competing resources. One chemical that contributes to the fighting response in insects is serotonin which triggers fights and regulates how much effort goes into each fight.  Researchers measured serotonin levels to see if they were related to the probability of winning a fly fight. Students will analyze the data collected to determine if serotonin has an impact on these flies fighting power.

Data Nuggets, NGSS-aligned lesson-plans, build off of real-world research and data. Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

Supplemental resources for this lesson:

  • Grading Rubric
  • Teacher guide/answer key (available via email)

There are several Data Nuggets focused on Stalk-Eyed Flies:

Additional information

Grade Level


NGSS STEM Practices

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Standards Present


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PDF Download, Text/Web Page

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