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Chemical Communication in Hawaiian Drosophila

Laurie Tompkins, Scott P. McRobert and Kenneth Y. Kaneshiro
Evolution
Vol. 47, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1407-1419
DOI: 10.2307/2410156
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410156
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Chemical Communication in Hawaiian Drosophila
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Abstract

We are interested in elucidating the extent to which lekking Hawaiian Drosophila species have diverged from their continental counterparts, which engage in sexual behavior at communal food sources, with regard to the chemical communication systems that the flies employ. Accordingly, we have analyzed flies from three closely related Hawaiian Drosophila species in the adiastola subgroup. These species are of interest because the males engage in a unique behavior: while courting, they raise their abdomens over their heads and emit anal droplets. Analysis of the flies' behavior, the hydrocarbons in males' anal droplets, and males' cuticular hydrocarbons suggest that females' responses to males may be mediated by cuticular pheromones and/or pheromones in males' extruded droplets that enable the females to distinguish conspecific from heterospecific males. Conversely, perception of cuticular hydrocarbons from conspecific females enables D. adiastola males to distinguish females from a closely related species from conspecific females. On the basis of these observations, we suggest that the adiastola subgroup species are unique among drosophilids in that they utilize an anal droplet-mediated pheromone communication system, some or all components of which are species specific. However, the lekking Hawaiian Drosophila species are similar to D. melanogaster and related continental species in that the Hawaiian flies employ a cuticular pheromone communication system, some components of which are sex and species-specific.

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