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Mating Behavior and the Evolution of Drosophila mauritiana

Hugh M. Robertson
Evolution
Vol. 37, No. 6 (Nov., 1983), pp. 1283-1293
DOI: 10.2307/2408848
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408848
Page Count: 11
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Mating Behavior and the Evolution of Drosophila mauritiana
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Abstract

Drosophila mauritiana has diverged from its sibling species D. simulans in a number of ways. The changes in its mating behavior are described here. The males have greater dependence on visual stimuli for the initiation of courtship, a reluctance to court young females, greatly increased variability of the inter-pulse interval of the pulse song, a higher frequency sine song, and swifter attempts at copulation. Nevertheless, D. mauritiana and D. simulans males still court interspecifically Drosophila mauritiana females seldom mate interspecifically, but D. mauritiana males can copulate with some success with D. simulans females, which then resist. The stimulus differences responsible for this, and the failure of interspecific pairings with D melanogaster remain largely undetermined. Only removal of the males' foretarsi, allowing interspecific courtship, sometimes increased interspecific insemination. Overall, both male and female D. mauritiana exhibit increased specificity of mating responses. It is argued that D. mauritiana speciated in complete allopatry on the island of Mauritius, where it remains isolated today. Its mating specificity therefore suggests that intraspecific considerations are more important than interspecific pressures for the evolution of mate recognition.

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