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Ctrax specifications


Unique identifier OMICS_12999
Name Ctrax
Software type Package/Module
Interface Graphical user interface
Restrictions to use None
Input data Video
Input format Fly Movie Format (FMF), Static Background Fly Movie Format (SBFMF)
Output data Trajectories, tracking data
Output format MAT, CSV
Operating system Unix/Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Programming languages Python
License GNU General Public License version 3.0
Computer skills Medium
Version 0.5.8
Stability Stable
Maintained Yes


  • Invertebrates
    • Drosophila melanogaster




No version available



  • person_outline Kristin Branson

Publication for Ctrax

Ctrax citations


Feeding difficulties, a key feature of the Drosophila NDUFS4 mitochondrial disease model

PMCID: 5897729
PMID: 29590638
DOI: 10.1242/dmm.032482

[…] the video acquisition was started. Locomotion was recorded using a Logitec webcam and the HandyAvi program. The time lapse was set to 10 images/s, and 7 min were recorded. Tracking was performed with Ctrax and FixErrors Matlab GUI using the guidelines of . For the climbing assay, 10 flies were placed in a vial of 23 mm diameter and 18.5 cm height, and allowed to acclimate for 5 min. The time requi […]


Repetitive aggressive encounters generate a long lasting internal state in Drosophila melanogaster males

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
PMCID: 5798363
PMID: 29339481
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716612115

[…] 2; Edmund Optics, Inc.). For each trial, a single fly was filmed for 12 min starting within 2 s after its introduction to the arena. The fly’s translational movements (Fig. S6C) were determined using Ctrax (); the various measures and classification of behaviors, including the exact coordinates of the post for each trial, were generated using custom software written in Matlab (MathWorks). […]


Inhibition of oxidative stress in cholinergic projection neurons fully rescues aging associated olfactory circuit degeneration in Drosophila

PMCID: 5790380
PMID: 29345616
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.32018.030

[…] OVA and the Bonferroni multiple comparisons posthoc test using Prism GraphPad 6.In some experiments flies were videotracked by using an infrared camera on the top of the climate box and analyzed with ctrax software. […]


Recurrence analysis of ant activity patterns

PLoS One
PMCID: 5633173
PMID: 29016648
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185968

[…] The x-y coordinates of the individual positions were extracted using the Ctrax software (Caltech Multiple Fly Tracker; version 0.3.12) and the associated FixErrors toolbox for MATLAB (v. 7.10.0 2010; MathWorks, Inc., Natick, MA, USA [–]; MATLAB v. 7.10.0). Ctrax was primar […]


Social interactions between live and artificial weakly electric fish: Electrocommunication and locomotor behavior of Mormyrus rume proboscirostris towards a mobile dummy fish

PLoS One
PMCID: 5597219
PMID: 28902915
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184622
call_split See protocol

[…] control C1 were rectified to correct for radial distortion and subsequently tracked to obtain trajectories and spatial orientations for both the dummy and the focal fish. Tracking was performed using Ctrax [] including the provided Matlab toolboxes for subsequent correction and analysis of tracking data. The distance between test fish and the dummy was determined for each frame as the shortest con […]


How predation shapes the social interaction rules of shoaling fish

PMCID: 5577484
PMID: 28855361
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1126

[…] We tracked the pairs of fish using CTrax [] semi-automated tracking software and corrected any errors the software made using the Fixerrors GUI in MATLAB. We tracked the groups of eight fish using Didson Tracking Software [] in MATLAB. […]


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Ctrax institution(s)
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
Ctrax funding source(s)
Funding for this research was provided by National Institutes of Health grant R01 DA022777.

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