Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Males forced to compete with other males become less attractive to females and die young, a study of fruit flies has revealed. In the test, male fruit flies of the species Drosophila subobscura were kept either alone or in groups. The females of this species are monandrous -- they only mate once in their lives, meaning that males have to get very lucky to mate at all. As a result males compete furiously for access to females. Females strongly prefer the males that were kept alone, with females refusing to mate with three quarters of the males that previously had to battle with rivals.

The study found females refused to mate with three quarters of the males that previously had to battle with rivals.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Liverpool

A University of Liverpool study of fruit flies has revealed that males forced to compete with other males become less attractive to females and die young.

In the test, male fruit flies of the species Drosophila subobscura were kept either alone or in groups. The females of this species are monandrous -- they only mate once in their lives, meaning that males have to get very lucky to mate at all. As a result males compete furiously for access to females.

Evolutionary biologist, Dr Anne Lizι, who led the study said: "When we see stags fighting over mates, it's obvious what the potential costs to the males are, but in this case it's more subtle. The flies aren't using antlers to beat each other into submission, but instead are harassing each other to the point where exhaustion causes them to die young."

Dr Lizι and her colleagues from the University's Institute of Integrative Biology, think that rivals disrupt the flies' sleep patterns, which has already been identified as a cause of early death in many other species, and is potentially harmful to humans.

Males exposed to rivals fare even worse when they finally do meet a virgin female. Females strongly prefer the males that were kept alone, with females refusing to mate with three quarters of the males that previously had to battle with rivals.

Dr Lizι concluded: "The idea that competition has more subtle effects on a male could be extended to other species that humans are trying to breed or keep healthy."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Lize, T. A. R. Price, C. Heys, Z. Lewis, G. D. D. Hurst. Extreme cost of rivalry in a monandrous species: male-male interactions result in failure to acquire mates and reduced longevity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2014; 281 (1786): 20140631 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0631

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519092837.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2014, May 19). Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519092837.htm
University of Liverpool. "Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519092837.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) — Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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