Polyandry and paternity skew in natural and experimental populations of Drosophila serrata

  title={Polyandry and paternity skew in natural and experimental populations of Drosophila serrata},
  author={Francesca D. Frentiu and Stephen F. Chenoweth},
  journal={Molecular Ecology},
Many species engage in polyandry, resulting in the potential for sexual selection to continue post‐copulation through sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice. The relative importance of pre‐ vs. post‐copulatory processes remains unknown for most species despite this information being fundamental for understanding the evolutionary consequences of sexual selection. The Australian fruit fly Drosophila serrata has become a prominent model system for studying precopulatory sexual selection… 

Polyandry and postcopulatory sexual selection in a wild population

The results show that postcopulatory sexual selection operates strongly in this species: wild females mated with an average minimum of 3.6 males but used the sperm from only 58% of them, and paternity was significantly skewed among the males that did sire offspring.

Benefits of polyandry: Molecular evidence from field‐caught dung beetles

There was strong positive correlations between the number of offspring produced and both number of fathers and paternity skew, which suggests that females benefit from mating polyandrously by inciting postcopulatory mechanisms that bias paternity towards males that can sire more viable offspring.

The strength of postcopulatory sexual selection within natural populations of field crickets

Genotyping of sperm within sperm storage organs revealed high levels of multiple mating by females in both species, but females utilized sperm from just 75% and 60% of their mates, respectively, which must be taken into account when estimating total sexual selection acting on these species.

Polyandry, genetic diversity and fecundity of emigrating beetles: understanding new foci of infestation and selection

The results provide the first direct evidence of polyandry in wild populations of T. castaneum and R. dominica, and that females that have mated several times have the potential to produce offspring of multiple genotypes in the field.

Natural levels of polyandry: Differential sperm storage and temporal changes in sperm competition intensity in wild yellow dung flies

It is detected a positive relationship between the number of stored ejaculates and females’ wing injuries, suggesting that mating not only causes measurable cumulative damage to wild females but also provides a potential mechanism by which males may be able to assess the intensity of sperm competition within a female.

Multiple paternity and sperm competition in the sibling species Drosophila buzzatii and Drosophila koepferae

It is found that postmating sexual selection via SC is a stronger evolutionary force in D. buzzatii than in its sibling Drosophila koepferae, and Laboratory experiments show that this pattern may be accounted for by the faster rate of stored sperm usage observed in the species.

Sexual selection on Drosophila serrata male pheromones does not vary with female age or mating status

The results suggest that either plasticity with respect to age and mating status is not beneficial to females, or preference expression is somehow constrained in D. serrata.

Comparing the intersex genetic correlation for fitness across novel environments in the fruit fly, Drosophila serrata

Assayed male and female lifetime fitness in a population of Drosophila serrata in four novel laboratory environments and found that rwFM varied significantly across environments, with point estimates ranging from positive to negative values of considerable magnitude, illustrating the unpredictable nature of rw FM in novel environments.

Paternity sharing in insects with female competition for nuptial gifts

Evidence of shared paternity was found in both study species, and estimates of paternity bias were similar to other insects with valuable nuptial gifts and contrasted with patterns in gryllid crickets where males supply little more than sperm and are frequently excluded from siring offspring.

Female mate choice predicts paternity success in the absence of additive genetic variance for other female paternity bias mechanisms in Drosophila serrata

It was found that despite high levels of polyandry (females mated more than once per day), the first mate choice was a significant predictor of male total reproductive success and there was no detectable genetic variance in female ability to bias paternity beyond mate choice.



Measuring polyandry in wild populations: a case study using promiscuous crickets

This study reveals high levels of polyandry in the wild of the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus and suggests that females mate with more males than sire their offspring.

Polyandry in the wild: temporal changes in female mating frequency and sperm competition intensity in natural populations of the tettigoniid Requena verticalis

Microsatellite markers are used to provide rare estimates of female mating rates and patterns of parentage in a species of tettigoniid, Requena verticalis, which has been used extensively to test theory on the evolution of male parental investment and its influence on the direction of sexual selection.

Multiple paternity in a natural population of a wild tobacco fly, Bactrocera cacuminata (Diptera: Tephritidae), assessed by microsatellite DNA markers

The level of remating identified would indicate that wild females could mate with one or more resident fertile males, which would compromise the success of sterile insect technique (SIT) programmes.

Operational sex ratios and sperm limitation in populations of Drosophila pachea

  • S. Pitnick
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
It is found that males take 10 days longer than females, post-eclosion, to become sexually mature, and the pattern of testes development suggests that the need to produce testes long enough to manufacture the giant sperm is the cause of the delayed male maturity.


  • T. Markow
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2002
Examining the opportunity for sexual selection on males to occur before versus after mating in 21 species of Drosophila shows the strong association between female remating frequency in a given species and the presence of sexually selected external versus internal male characters indicates that the relationship should be examined in other taxa as well.

Multiple paternity in wild‐caught Drosophila mojavensis

Overall, there is little evidence for last ‐ male sperm precedence though some temporal variation in sperm utilization was observed, consistent with laboratory findings, and evidence for high levels of multiple paternity coupled with relatively low reproductive output is found.

The frequency of multiple paternity suggests that sperm competition is common in house mice (Mus domesticus)

This study suggests that sperm competition is an important aspect of postcopulatory sexual selection in house mice, and used computer simulations to estimate the frequency of multiple mating, indicating that multiple mating is common.

Comparing Complex Fitness Surfaces: Among‐Population Variation in Mutual Sexual Selection in Drosophila serrata

In females, large‐scale variation in both linear and nonlinear sexual selection was negatively associated with assumed‐neutral population genetic structure, suggesting a key role for chance events in male mate preference divergence.

Remating and sperm displacement in a natural population of Drosophila buzzatii inferred from mother–offspring analysis of microsatellite loci

The first attempt to estimate the frequency of female remating and sperm competition in natural populations of D. buzzatii is reported, with results that are within the limits of previous laboratory results.

Post-mating sexual selection increases lifetime fitness of polyandrous females in the wild

The results show that polyandry improves female lifetime fitness in nature, and is not negated by a decline in maternal lifespan and is too large to be offset by an equivalent decline in the reproductive performance of surviving offspring.