Sunday, June 17, 2012

Effects of Drosophila melanogaster Female Size on male Mating Success

Turiegano, E., Monedero, I., Pita, M., Torroja, L., Canal, I. 2012. Effect of Drosophila melanogaster Female Size on Male Mating Success. J Insect Behav.  

This article examines the importance of female body size on mating success in Drosophila melanogaster. The authors first confirm that larger males do mate more rapidly and more frequently, but stress the importance of examining female size relative to males. Through observation and analysis, the authors were able to conclude that in a non-competitive environment, an increase in female size prolongs copulation latency (i.e. the time between introduction and initiation of copulation), specifically that larger differences in size between a male and a female causes an increase in copulation latency. Larger females were also found to display lengthened avoidance behaviour during courtship. In competitive environments, it was found that the first male to initiate courtship had a much higher probability of mating, and that an increase in female size reduces the likelihood of the larger male initiating courtship.  This study is significant because examines the importance of the relative size of both males and females in determining mating success, and leaves room for further research into this topic.

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