Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The quantitative genetics of sexual selection in the dung fly Sepsis cynipsea


Mühlhäuser, Claudia; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U (2004). The quantitative genetics of sexual selection in the dung fly Sepsis cynipsea. Behaviour, 141(3):327-341.

Abstract

In the common dung or black scavenger fly Sepsis cynipsea (Diptera: Sepsidae) several morphological and behavioural male and female traits interact during mating. Previous studies show that males attempt to mount females without courtship, females use vigorous shaking behaviour in response to male mounting, the duration of shaking is an indicator of both direct and indirect female choice and sexual conflict, and larger males enjoy a mating advantage. We conducted a quantitative genetic paternal half sib study to investigate the genetic underpinnings of these traits, notably body size (the preferred trait) and the associated female preference, and to assess the relative importance of various models generally proposed to account for the evolution of sexually selected traits. Several morphological traits and female shaking duration were heritable, thus meeting a key requirement of all sexual selection models. In contrast, two traits indicative of male persistence in mating were not. Male longevity was also heritable and negatively correlated with his mating effort, suggesting a mating cost. However, the crucial genetic correlation between male body size and female shaking duration, predicted to be negative by both 'good genes' and Fisherian models and positive by the sexual conflict (or chase-away) model, was zero. This could be because of low power, or because of constraints imposed by the genetic correlation structure. Based on our rsults we conclude that discriminating sexual selection models by sole means of quantitative genetics is difficult, if not impossible.

Abstract

In the common dung or black scavenger fly Sepsis cynipsea (Diptera: Sepsidae) several morphological and behavioural male and female traits interact during mating. Previous studies show that males attempt to mount females without courtship, females use vigorous shaking behaviour in response to male mounting, the duration of shaking is an indicator of both direct and indirect female choice and sexual conflict, and larger males enjoy a mating advantage. We conducted a quantitative genetic paternal half sib study to investigate the genetic underpinnings of these traits, notably body size (the preferred trait) and the associated female preference, and to assess the relative importance of various models generally proposed to account for the evolution of sexually selected traits. Several morphological traits and female shaking duration were heritable, thus meeting a key requirement of all sexual selection models. In contrast, two traits indicative of male persistence in mating were not. Male longevity was also heritable and negatively correlated with his mating effort, suggesting a mating cost. However, the crucial genetic correlation between male body size and female shaking duration, predicted to be negative by both 'good genes' and Fisherian models and positive by the sexual conflict (or chase-away) model, was zero. This could be because of low power, or because of constraints imposed by the genetic correlation structure. Based on our rsults we conclude that discriminating sexual selection models by sole means of quantitative genetics is difficult, if not impossible.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
21 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 22 Aug 2019
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Animal Science and Zoology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Animal Science and Zoology, Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 January 2004
Deposited On:22 Aug 2019 12:07
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:33
Publisher:Brill
ISSN:0005-7959
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/156853904322981888

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members