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Wild yellow dung fly females may not select sperm based on dung pat microclimate but could nevertheless benefit from polyandry


Demont, Marco; Martin, Oliver Y; Bussière, Luc F (2012). Wild yellow dung fly females may not select sperm based on dung pat microclimate but could nevertheless benefit from polyandry. Evolutionary Ecology, 26(3):715-731.

Abstract

Molecular techniques have substantially improved our knowledge of postcopulatory sexual selection. Nevertheless, studies examining sperm utilization in natural populations of nonsocial insects are rare, support for sperm selection (biased use of stored sperm, e.g. to match offspring genotypes to prevailing environmental conditions) is elusive, and its relevance within natural populations unknown. We performed an oviposition site choice experiment in the field where female yellow dung flies Scathophaga stercoraria could deposit eggs into three different microenvironments on a dung pat (the east-west ridge, north- or south-exposed side), and genotyped the offspring and sperm remaining in storage after oviposition. Females exhibited plasticity in the number of eggs deposited according to pat age. Additionally, temperature strongly influenced egg placement: the warmer the temperature, the higher the proportion of eggs laid into the north-exposed side of dung. The number of ejaculates in storage differed amongst spermathecae, and females stored sperm from more males than fathered their offspring (2.11 sires vs. 2.84 males within sperm stores). Mean last male paternity was 83.4%, roughly matching previous laboratory estimates. Importantly, we found no evidence that females selectively lay eggs of different genotypes, by biasing paternity towards certain males, depending on offspring's microclimate. Thus, while we show female choice over number of eggs and where these are deposited, there was no evidence for sperm selection. We further revealed positive effects of multiple mating on total number of offspring and proportion of offspring emerging from the dung. We argue that the integration of field studies and laboratory experiments is essential to promote our understanding of polyandry and cryptic female choice

Abstract

Molecular techniques have substantially improved our knowledge of postcopulatory sexual selection. Nevertheless, studies examining sperm utilization in natural populations of nonsocial insects are rare, support for sperm selection (biased use of stored sperm, e.g. to match offspring genotypes to prevailing environmental conditions) is elusive, and its relevance within natural populations unknown. We performed an oviposition site choice experiment in the field where female yellow dung flies Scathophaga stercoraria could deposit eggs into three different microenvironments on a dung pat (the east-west ridge, north- or south-exposed side), and genotyped the offspring and sperm remaining in storage after oviposition. Females exhibited plasticity in the number of eggs deposited according to pat age. Additionally, temperature strongly influenced egg placement: the warmer the temperature, the higher the proportion of eggs laid into the north-exposed side of dung. The number of ejaculates in storage differed amongst spermathecae, and females stored sperm from more males than fathered their offspring (2.11 sires vs. 2.84 males within sperm stores). Mean last male paternity was 83.4%, roughly matching previous laboratory estimates. Importantly, we found no evidence that females selectively lay eggs of different genotypes, by biasing paternity towards certain males, depending on offspring's microclimate. Thus, while we show female choice over number of eggs and where these are deposited, there was no evidence for sperm selection. We further revealed positive effects of multiple mating on total number of offspring and proportion of offspring emerging from the dung. We argue that the integration of field studies and laboratory experiments is essential to promote our understanding of polyandry and cryptic female choice

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:1 May 2012
Deposited On:27 Nov 2018 17:33
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:44
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0269-7653
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10682-011-9519-1
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007s1068201195191 (Library Catalogue)

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