UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The complexity of mating decisions in stalk-eyed flies

Chapman, NC; Siriwat, P; Howie, J; Towlson, A; Bellamy, L; Fowler, K; Pomiankowski, A; (2017) The complexity of mating decisions in stalk-eyed flies. Ecology and Evolution , 7 (17) pp. 6659-6668. 10.1002/ece3.3225. Green open access

[thumbnail of Pomiankowski_Chapman_et_al-2017-Ecology_and_Evolution.pdf]
Preview
Text
Pomiankowski_Chapman_et_al-2017-Ecology_and_Evolution.pdf - Published version

Download (856kB) | Preview

Abstract

All too often, studies of sexual selection focus exclusively on the responses in one sex, on single traits, typically those that are exaggerated and strongly sexually dimorphic. They ignore a range of less obvious traits and behavior, in both sexes, involved in the interactions leading to mate choice. To remedy this imbalance, we analyze a textbook example of sexual selection in the stalk-eyed fly (Diasemopsis meigenii). We studied several traits in a novel, insightful, and efficient experimental design, examining 2,400 male–female pairs in a “round-robin” array, where each female was tested against multiple males and vice versa. In D. meigenii, females exhibit strong mate preference for males with highly exaggerated eyespan, and so we deliberately constrained variation in male eyespan to reveal the importance of other traits. Males performing more precopulatory behavior were more likely to attempt to mate with females and be accepted by them. However, behavior was not a necessary part of courtship, as it was absent from over almost half the interactions. Males with larger reproductive organs (testes and accessory glands) did not make more mating attempts, but there was a strong tendency for females to accept mating attempts from such males. How females detect differences in male reproductive organ size remains unclear. In addition, females with larger eyespan, an indicator of size and fecundity, attracted more mating attempts from males, but this trait did not alter female acceptance. Genetic variation among males had a strong influence on male mating attempts and female acceptance, both via the traits we studied and other unmeasured attributes. These findings demonstrate the importance of assaying multiple traits in males and females, rather than focusing solely on prominent and exaggerated sexually dimorphic traits. The approach allows a more complete understanding of the complex mating decisions made by both males and females.

Type: Article
Title: The complexity of mating decisions in stalk-eyed flies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3225
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3225
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, courtship, genetic variation, male mate choice, mate preference, multimodal signaling, multiple sexual traits, sexual ornament, sexual selection, MUTUAL MATE CHOICE, FLY CYRTODIOPSIS-DALMANNI, SEXUAL ORNAMENT SIZE, DIASEMOPSIS-MEIGENII, MALE EYESPAN, ARTIFICIAL SELECTION, CONDITION DEPENDENCE, TELEOPSIS-DALMANNI, FEMALE COLORATION, ACCESSORY-GLAND
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1559775
Downloads since deposit
81Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item