A Time-Saving Study on Tracking Sleeping Statuses of Multiple Drosophilae

Yu-Cheng Wu, Hung-Yin Tsai, Chien-Jung Huang, and Hong Hocheng


Drosophila, sleeping status, image processing


Recent studies of Drosophila’s behavior with manual calculation are time-consuming. An innovative time-saving and automatic method for investigating the sleeping statuses of Drosophilae by image processing is proposed in the current study. Applying frame difference method to record video of Drosophilae and taking a suitable threshold, moving Drosophila can be captured and identified by using morphology method to erase noises. In order to reduce computation time and improve Drosophila identification, an image frame is divided into 32 regions corresponding to 32 chambers. The precise locomotions and the behaviors of 32 Drosophilae can be obtained at the same time. Sleeping behavior of Drosophila is defined as one keeping at the same situation for more than 5 minutes. Based on the image processing methods and the definition of sleeping Drosophila, the computation time is less than 3 hours to analyze 72-hour sleeping experiment of 32 Drosophilae. The accuracy of sleeping data obtained by the proposed method are higher than that by Drosophila Activity Monitoring System (DAMS), which is widely used to judge a Drosophila’s status only by passing the infrared-ray interrupter or not. In addition, the sleep-wake numbers of Drosophilae and the total sleeping time can also be numerically provided.

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