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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. 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