Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friberg, U. 2006. Male perception of female mating status: its effect on copulation duration and male and female fitness in Drosophila melanogaster. Anim. Behav. 72:1256-1268.

In this study, Friberg justifies the idea that the risk of sperm competition in male Drosophila melanogaster is highly influenced by female mating status. Males can assess female mating status by inspecting the female cuticular hydrocarbon (CH) profile, which changes when females mate. Friberg tests this by manipulating female CHs by transferring from either virgin or mated females to virgin females. The results show that males copulated significantly longer with virgin females that had been coated with CHs from mated females compared to virgin females who had been coated with CHs from other virgin females. In addition, Friberg found that male sperm defense is elevated when males perceive their partner as mated. This study proves to be important to future studies in female mate choice examining the social experiences and housing experiences of mated and nonmated females. More specifically, if virgin females housed with mated females have different male preferences than virgins housed together.

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