Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male Flies: Not The World's Most Sensitive Lovers

Date:
June 22, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
In order to increase their chances of reproductive success, male flies of the species Drosophila montana try to copulate for much longer than the females would like. Researchers have shown that females engaged in extended intercourse wait longer before they mate again, increasing the first fly's chances of fathering offspring.

In order to increase their chances of reproductive success, male flies of the species Drosophila montana try to copulate for much longer than the females would like. Researchers have shown that females engaged in extended intercourse wait longer before they mate again, increasing the first fly's chances of fathering offspring.

Dominique Mazzi, from the University of Jyvδskylδ, Finland (now at ETH Zurich, Switzerland) and Kirsten Klappert, from the University of St Andrews, UK (now at EAWAG/ETH Duebendorf, Switzerland), led a team of researchers whose experiments explain why males favor longer copulation times. They said, "By inducing a mating delay in the female, the persistent male extends the time over which his sperm is exclusively used to sire progeny, and reduces the likelihood of the female being reinseminated by a competitor".

In Drosophila montana, males and females seem to struggle for control over the duration of copulation. Once a female has allowed a courting male to mount, and after an initial phase of apparent harmony, copulating pairs enter an obvious conflict phase. In this phase, females conspicuously attempt to dislodge the mounting male by vigorously kicking with their hind legs, flicking their wings or attempting to move away.

The researchers found that when females were prevented from dislodging the copulating male, matings lasted one-and-a-half times longer than when female movement was unconstrained. This indicates that female resistance normally shortens copulation duration, although the length of the conflict stage indicates that persevering males who hold on gain a significant extension of copulation time. Protracting copulation in this way does not lead to enhanced insemination, or to increased progeny production from the union concerned. However, if the scientists interrupted copulation early, and other males were available, the females soon mated with another partner.

Extended copulation correlated with the presence of male competitors, suggesting that the male drive to prolong copulation is spurred by the presence of competitors, and is effective in keeping this competition at bay.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dominique Mazzi, Jenni Kesδniemi, Anneli Hoikkala and Kirsten Klappert. Sexual conflict over the duration of copulation in Drosophila montana: why is longer better? BMC Evolutionary Biology, (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Male Flies: Not The World's Most Sensitive Lovers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611192130.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, June 22). Male Flies: Not The World's Most Sensitive Lovers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611192130.htm
BioMed Central. "Male Flies: Not The World's Most Sensitive Lovers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090611192130.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins