@ Masson, Paris, 1978

Biology of Beliuviour, 1978, 3, 187-190

Courte note

Sexual Experience and Courtship Behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster
Maurice A. Dow Dep~ii trnent 01 Zoology,
Utliversity o f E d i ~ l b ~ ~ r Editlbzlrgh gh, EH9 3JT (Scotland)

K e y ~uords : iMating Behaviour, licking rate, sexual experience.

Experience sexuelle et parade nuptiale chez Drosophila ~izelnnogasler. I1 a Cte montrC que I'exp6riencc sexuelle du mAle de Drosophila rnelanogaster a un effet sur son comportement sexucl. La quailtitc de cour exigee pour qu'un mile expkrimente s'accouple avec ulie femelle vierge s'accroit a mesure qu'augrnente le nombre des accouplements accornplis par le mAle. La frCquence h laquelle le mdle lkche l'extrkmite de l'abdomcn de la femelle diminue entre le premier accouplement du mile et les suivants. Cette reponse n'est pas adaptative du point de vue du mhle puisque cela rend plus difficile des accouplements ulterieurs avec d'autres femelles. Cependant puisque la quantitC des spermatozo'ides du mile diminue aprks chaque copulation, cette rkponse due B llexpCrience est adaptative pour la femelle ; elle augmente la probabilite pour la fernelle de s'accoupler avec un mhle vierge qui a une quantite maximale de spermatozoi'des disponibles.
Mois cles : Paradc nuptiale, frkquencc du lCcller, experience sexuelle


Linley and Mook (1975) have recently reported that sexual experience in Culicoides me1Iet.i~ males affects their courtship behaviour and decreases their mating success and that this response is adaptive from the female's point of view and not the male's. Since it has also been show that previous mating experiences affect mating success in Drosophila pseudoobscura (Pruzan and Ehrman., 1974), I have examined whether experience affects the courtship behaviour of male Drosophila melanogaster and whether the effect is adaptive.

R ~ ~le L:L 3-1-77 ; Accepte' le : 27-5-77. Tire's ic part : Maurice A. DOW, adresse ci-dessus.

1 : T h e relationship between wzearz mating t i m e (* S E ) and t h e n u m b e r o f courtships performed b y t h e male. Chaque moyenne est baste sur neut ou dix ob. it should be noted that in natural. servations. . unconfined conditions. it is advantageous for a female to have the maximum amount of sperm possible during the optimum productive period. Both egg production and hatchability vary with female age. 1970). more sperm available) than any later copulation and that there is a trend toward the production of fewer offspring per mating with increasing number of consecutive copulation~ (Kvelland. 1962). It has been shown that for sexually mature (3 day old) males. Flg. Les durCes dc parade nuptiale ont CtC normalist avec la transformation logarithm. 2 : Therelationship between t h e m e a n licking rate (2 S E ) and t h e n u m b e r o f courtships performed b y t h e male. Also. 1965).1 2 3 L \ 4 01 COURTSHIP . the first copulation produces more progeny (i. an increase in mating time would result in a number of aborted courtships due to the female flying or running away before copulation or due to the distraction of the courting male by neighbouring flies. Mating times were normalised by logarithmic Each mean Is based On nine o r ten observations. 1942) and as females tend not to remate until they have exhausted their previous sperm supply (Manning. Egg hatchability also depends upon the number of sperm present in the female (Kaufmann and Demerec. Fig. such an increase is adaptive from the female's point of view. 2 : La connexion entre la frdqlrerlce rnoyenne d e lecher et le nojilbre des cotcrs qzre le m i l e a exiczltte. However.e. 2 3 \'Yr COURTSH lP Fig. reaching a maximum between days 6-10 and declining thereafter (McMillan et al. Fig.. 1 : La connexion entre la durke moyenne de parade nuptzale ( 2 l'kcarttype d e la mo3enne) et le n o m b r e des cours q u e 2e male a exe'cute'e. The response shown in figure 1 will tend to insure that this is the case.

Licking rate was chosen as a measure of the intensity of courtship since it is highly correlated with most other aspects of courtship behaviour and is easily scored (Manning. melanogaster are capable of successfully inseminating up to eight females per 12 hour mating period (Kvelland. P > 0. After a 5 min.001). Combining these two relationships.0. melanogaster was mass bred on standard medium at 2S0 C. the amount of recovery after 24 hours was not significant.A recently collected (France. 1) is maladaptive. P <0. with the number of courtships completed by the male t = 2.ate-defined as the total number of times that the male licked the female's genitalia. in active courtship and 50 min. Figure 1 shows that there was a significant increase in mating time A = 0. After the first copulation had ended the female was removed and the male was given a 20 min. A second female was introduced then and the procedure was repeated. P < 0. there was a significant decrease in licking rate between the first and later courtship (t = 3. 1974) wild type strain of D. Since neither mating time nor licking rate showed significant recovery after 24 hours of rest. t = 7. rest.76. in copula. Males of D.01). t = 1. Sept. All flies where collected as virgins within 15 min. After the third such mating the male was returned to his vial. The correlation between licking rate and the number of completed courtships (fig.92. it is unlilcely that physical fatigue was solely responsible for the effects shown in the two figures .001).. from eclosion without anaesthetization and kept singly until 4 days old. 1965) and since the number of females a male inseminates is negatively correlated with his mating time (Fulker. an experiential response which increases his mating time (fig. G .53.0. after three courtships the males had spent a maximum of 15 min. P < 0. 2) was not significant (r A = . one finds that mating time and licking rate were highly correlated (r A = . However. and lickitzg ). the partition was removed and the courtship behaviour was observed with a binocular microscope. uztatitzg titne. Again.1). The amount of recovery after 24 hours was not significant. Each pair of flies was introduced into a perspex arena (13 mm diameter.defined as the time from the start of courtship to the time that copulation started.34. 1966).32. 7 mm high) without anaesthetization and the sexes separated by a sliding partition.05). P < 0. Twenty four hours later a fourth courtship was observed. The increase in mating time between the first courtship and all later ones was highly significant (t = 3. divided by the mating time.75.0.76. period to settle the flies. 1961).

Linley J..g. 1974. Manning A. Behav. 159-164.. . 1974. 445-460. Behavioural interaction between sexually experienced Culicoides lnelleus (Coquillet) (Diptera : Ceratopogonidae). For such altruistic behaviour to work. 1964). The effects of artificial selection for mating speed in Drosophila melanoguster. Pruzan A. J. and Robson D. and personal observations). Detailed observations are rcquired to determine whether this is so. experience and rare male mating advantages in Drosophila pset~doobscuru.P. A sperm factor affecting the receptivity of Drosophila melanogaster females. 194. Rev. Mating speed in male Drosophila melaizogaster : A psychogenetic analysis. 65. Age. and Dr. 97-110. and Demerec M. Theoret. 76. Kvelland I. Natur. Anim. Nature. I thank Mr. Behav. 9. 1962. Hamilton W.. and thus the response could evolve through individual selection acting on the female. 355-369.. 1964.. 1975. 1-16... Fitz-Earle M. 281-306. Ann. Linley and Mook (1975) ascribed the change in mating success to male sensitization by the female's defensive grooming (kicking) during a previous copulation. The response of male Drosophila melanoguster to sexual experience would increase the fecundity of females that remate. J.This is analogous to the response found in sexually experienced Culicoides melleus (Linley and Mook. Some observations on the mating activity and fertility of Drosophila vzela~zogastermales. melanogastev females also exhibit kicking and defensive grooming during copulation (Spieth. Hereditas. 252-253. 1961. and Ehrman L. McMillan I. Lifetime egg production of Drosophila melanogaster-Experimen* tal. 203-205. 19. Butler L..T. Biol. 11. Utilization of sperm by the female Drosophila t7zelanogaster. 54.. 1942. sisters would have to be more common than unrelated females in the local population at the time of mating (Hamilton. Genetics. Acknow2edgnzents : Rescarch supported by the National Research Council of Canada..W. Behaviour. Genet.. Courtship behaviour in Drosophila. 1974. 153.. 7. REFERENCES Fulker D. 53.R. as such females would be more likely to mate with the males with the most sperm. Wright for translating the French summary. Since D. Spieth H. R. 1966. 83-92. 385-405. Entomol. The genetical evolution of social behaviour. Science. A.. melanogaster may be the same type of male sensitization. the causal basis for the increase in mating time in D.S. Manning A...W. Ewing and Mr. Quantitative genetics of fertility. 4. sisters) for the same reason. Wright for their comments on the manuscript. 1970. Amer.. 1965.D. 1975) where its adaptiveness was also attributed to the female's sperm requirement.. Kaufmann B. It could also evolve through kin selection acting on the female's relatives (e. and Mook MS.

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