Friday, August 10, 2012

Effects of Male Size on Mating Success and Female Preference in Drosophila melanogaster

Partridge, L., Ewing, A., Chandler, A. 1987. Male Size and Mating Success in Drosophila melanogaster: The Roles of Male and Female Behavior. Animal Behaviour, 35, 555-562. 

In this article the effects of male size in relation to courtship behavior was examined in a non-competitive environment to determine what factors lead to higher courting success in larger males. Male tracking speeds, song frequency and amplitude, as well as frequency of decamping by females was examined. Larger males exhibited louder and more frequent courtship songs as well as faster tracking speeds, while female decamping did not differ significantly among large and small males. This suggests that mating success by larger males is not due to female preference but rather a result of male-male competition. Although the frequency of decamping by the females did not differ, female preference for louder songs and their increased movement as a result of faster tracking speeds by larger males is an important factor in determining female preference for larger males and increased mating success among larger males in a non-competitive environment.

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